If you’re thinking about selling your business, your first (and perhaps, most important) question is likely, “what is it worth?”  We can help you with that.  Ascendiant, as an active investment banking firm, has a team of people negotiating transactions across a variety of industries, and talking to active buyers every day.  At no cost to you or obligation to proceed, we can analyze your business and go beyond standard formulas and “rules of thumb” to provide you with relevant and timely insights, and determine a range of what we think your business would be worth to buyers in the marketplace.  

Yes!  Selling your business might be the most important financial decision you make in your life, and you may only have one opportunity to do it right.  Over the years, our Ascendiant investment bankers have developed the skills, knowledge, and expertise to successfully complete hundreds of transactions.  We run a competitive “auction process” designed to identify the optimum buyer, something you can’t accomplish on a “do-it-yourself” basis.  And, our bankers are skilled at negotiating not only the sales price, but also the numerous and complex terms and conditions that are critical to the sale of business and can help make a good deal a great deal.

Confidentiality is essential.  Employees and customers may not like the idea of change, and can get very nervous about the idea of you selling your business.  Losing key people or business relationships during the process not only could cost you a lot of money, it may derail a possible sale.  Our Ascendiant investment bankers can help keep things confidential and manage the discussions with prospective buyers until such point you are ready to have your identity known in connection with a non-disclosure agreement.  Let us be your shield to the market until it is time.

No, you have the right to accept or reject any offer we bring to you, regardless of the price.  Ascendiant has no power to bind you to any arrangement with a prospective buyer.  And, unlike typical real estate brokerage contracts, you only owe Ascendiant a success fee if the transaction is completed.   

This is a really important question.  Often, business owners focus only on maximizing the sales price, and don’t realize it’s the other terms and conditions that can make what appears to be an attractive sale based on price not such a great deal after all.   There are considerations such as tax implications, earnouts, equity rollovers, holdbacks, non-compete agreements, representations and warranties, and many other factors, that are typically part of a sale and require special expertise to understand and structure properly.  Let our Ascendiant investment bankers navigate through the negotiations of these sophisticated and detailed matters, so that you benefit from our experience and get the best possible arrangement.

From an overall market perspective, a low interest rate environment coupled with favorable macroeconomic conditions like we have been experiencing recently, bode well for sellers of privately-held businesses.  Private equity firms and strategic buyers have an appetite for quality businesses they can acquire and grow.  Mergers and acquisitions activity and business valuations vary from one industry to another, and our Ascendiant investment bankers can share their insights on how to time a sale to your advantage.  Generally speaking, a seller is in a better bargaining position if they don’t need to sell right away.   Planning ahead, and involving us early in your thought process can help us advise you on the timing that would be best suited for your situation. 

Yes, most likely.  Buyers often prefer that you stay involved for a period of time post-sale to maintain continuity in the business and to benefit from your knowledge and relationships.  Many of our private equity buyers like to create long-term partnerships with founders/sellers, which enables participation in the upside growth of the business and allows a founder/seller to continue working longer if they are not quite ready to retire.   Share with us your plans and we can help structure an arrangement that is acceptable to you and the prospective buyer.

Ascendiant’s investment bankers have successfully completed over 300 mergers and acquisitions across many different industries.  It is likely that at least one of our bankers has direct experience with your industry and can speak to the market dynamics and nuances that contribute to how businesses like yours are valued.   While each one of our engagements is unique, we generally find the companies we are best able to represent are considered lower middle market, with revenues from $10 million to over $100 million, and profitable.   Sometimes there are exceptions if revenues are lower but are growing – or have the potential to grow - rapidly.  And, there may be special situations with emerging technologies or disruptive business models that can be very attractive to the right buyer.   We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your business to see how we can help you.

Let’s have a conversation about your key goals and objectives, and let us do a customized analysis of your business and provide to you an estimated range of value.  If it seems like there’s a good match between anticipated market demand and your expectations, we’ll supply you with an engagement agreement for your review and consideration, and we’ll walk through, step-by-step, the marketing and sales process that we’ll manage for your business.

The process to sell a business is quite detailed and has many steps.  Generally, the activities can be summarized in the following major categories:  planning, preparation, marketing, negotiations, final due diligence, and closing.  We can provide you with a timeline for each, and try to accommodate your needs.   Depending on the circumstances and the scope of work, an M&A transaction may take as short as a few months to as long as a year or more to complete successfully.  That’s why we encourage business owners to have a conversation with us early so we can understand how best to accomplish your goals.