How to Deal with Unsolicited Offer in Buying Your Business

About the Episode

If you get an email out of the blue expressing interest in buying your company, does this mean you have a buyer before you even knew you wanted one? Not quite. Channing Hamlet discusses what information to have at your fingertips and how to avoid a potential bait-and-switch marketing ploy. He discusses handling different situations, the importance of doing market research on your own company, understanding the marketplace and potential valuations so you can respond with knowledge rather than a gut reaction.

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“Companies that have been successful in dealing with a single buyer situation are ones that are organized and prepared for a sale. They have done their research and their homework over the years, so when they do have a buyer show up, they can have intelligent conversations and make an assessment of the market value.” 

Channing Hamlet

In this Episode

3:05 What is the biggest mistake an owner can make when they are approached by a potential buyer with an unsolicited offer or expression of interest in buying a business?  
5:50 Is there a particular type of industry or business that attracts this approach or interest? How frequently are owners approached?
8:02 How can an owner tell the difference between a company approaching them with legitimate interest vs. someone just looking for any opportunity?
11:15 What types of information should not be provided to someone who has expressed interest?
15:46 What percentage of buyers are out there looking for a company that is not well-represented that they can get for a steal?
19:15 What determines whether or not it’s necessary to go to auction in a business sale?
20:45 What is the very first thing an owner should do when they get an unsolicited approach to sell their business?
23:45 Why is it so important for an owner to do their own market research on their own company before they are even considering selling?
27:20 How far off can an appraisal be if it comes from someone without an M&A background?
37:30 How much work goes into finding a buyer vs. the rest of the steps in selling a business?
40:35 What is the difference between making the due diligence process confirmatory rather than exploratory?
42:35 What is the most important advice to help owners be prepared for an unsolicited approach to buy their business?

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  • EBITDA: earnings before income, taxes, depreciation, and amortization

Meet Our Guest

Channing Hamlet

Channing Hamlet

Investment Banker

Channing Hamlet is a Managing Director at Objective, Investment Banking & Valuation focused on leading the firm’s business valuation practice and transaction execution for its investment banking business services practice. He has 25+ years of experience advising business owners on management issues, transaction execution, and business valuation.

Prior to joining Objective, Channing served as a Managing Director of Cabrillo Advisors. Previously, he served as a Director at Vistage and served on the investment team at LLR Partners, a $260 million private-equity firm that invested in and acquired 25 companies during his tenure. Prior to LLR Partners, he was a member of Legg Mason’s Investment Banking group, where he focused on middle market M&A and corporate advisory assignments.

Channing was chosen as an Investment Banking Visionary for 2022, and 2021 in the Banking and Finance Magazine created and published by the Los Angeles Times. He has a master’s degree in operations research and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.

Location Location: San Diego/Los Angeles, USA

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