Mergers & Acquisitions

M&A Talk Podcast

M&A Talk is the #1 podcast on mergers & acquisitions. At M&A Talk we bring you exclusive interviews with experts in business sales, valuations, mergers and acquisitions, and more. We talk to the most experienced professionals in the industry to uncover their secrets.

What Sellers Should Know About Selling Their Business to a Search Fund

What Sellers Should Know About Selling Their Business to a Search Fund

Carl Lundberg

Search Funds | Acquisitions in the UK

This international edition of M&A Talk focuses on search funds and highlights multiple ways to fund an acquisition. Carl Lundberg offers an in-depth discussion of search funds, how money is raised for entrepreneurs, and differences in the M&A world between the UK and the US. He discusses investment funding in the UK, what buyers typically look for in a company, differences between a search fund, PE firm, angel investors, and other financial buyers, and the dynamics involved when working with a search fund.

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“Search funds fill a niche that is not filled by other players. Search funds enable investment in private companies and make it accessible to high net worth individuals who don’t necessarily want to make the minimum million dollar investment for a private equity fund.” – Carl Lundberg

Guest Profile

Carl Lundberg is a seasoned professional in the field of corporate finance and transaction services. As a Partner at Gerald Edelman LLP, Carl has gained extensive experience advising clients ranging from new entrepreneurs to large multinational businesses, offering a wide range of business advice to nurture and promote their success. Carl has expertise in entrepreneurship through acquisition and search funds, company acquisitions in the UK, due diligence, debt funding for UK acquisitions, and management buy-ins.

With a background in forensic accounting and expert witness services, Carl has advised clients on matters such as valuations, fundraising, and M&A. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and an associate member of the Academy of Experts, regularly engaged as an expert witness in his areas of expertise. 

Topics Covered

  • How is the term “search fund” defined in the UK? What are the differences between the terms in the UK and the US? [3:29]
  • What is the Stanford Model of search funds? [6:18]
  • How is a search fund different from a private equity firm? [7:35]
  • How does the SBA funding work in the US, and is there an equivalent program in the UK? [10:05]
  • Who are the investors in search funds? [12:25]
  • How do limited partners or investors work in search funds? How big are their deals? [15:35]
  • How do search funds compare to family offices? [18:59]
  • What does the deal structure typically look like for a search fund investment? [22:15]
  • What are the dynamics of the relationship between investors and the businesses? [24:45]
  • How much cash do search funds, or individual searchers, typically bring into a deal? [27:30]
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of selling to a search fund? [33:16]
  • How does selling to a search fund compare with selling to a private equity fund? [41:35] 
  • What is the space in the marketplace that search funders fill? [45:33]
  • Are there any unusual aspects to a deal structure done with a search fund that a seller should be prepared for? [48:05]
  • What are some differences in terminology, legal positions, and cultural expectations when doing M&A deals between the UK and the US? [50:45]
  • How is globalization going to impact the M&A process going forward? [55:30]
  • How easy is it to do cross-border deals in Europe and the UK? [58:11]
  • Carl’s advice to middle market business owners. [1:01:34]

Learn More

Resources Mentioned

Listen to Other Episodes

Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode

  • UK: the United Kingdom
  • MBI: management buy-in
  • SBA: U.S. Small Business Loan Administration
  • SOP: standard operating procedure
  • IRR: internal rate of return
  • EEA: European Economic Area

To suggest guests, topics, or questions for future podcast episodes, contact Morgan & Westfield.



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Written by Jacob Orosz, President of Morgan & Westfield

For a business to sell for what it’s really worth – or even more – you need to properly prepare. But too many entrepreneurs put off planning the sale of their business until the last moment. Acquired – The Art of Selling a Business With $10 Million to $100 Million in Revenue will help you prepare your business for sale and walk you through the sales process, dodging the pitfalls along the way. With a significant amount of your wealth tied up in your business, planning your exit is one of the most critical initiatives you’ll undertake.

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