Mergers & Acquisitions

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According to recent studies, the average seller has to talk to 40-plus buyers to sell their business. That’s a time-suck if there ever was one. Moreover, many sellers also quickly get frustrated when buyers do not return phone calls or emails or randomly just disappear during the sale process. Fortunately, there’s a better way. A method that’s efficient and highly effective. It starts with drawing up a fact sheet known as a Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM). A CIM provides pre-screened shoppers with answers to basic questions about your business before they even get a chance to ask. You don’t want your CIM to be an open book, mind you. The idea is to give qualified buyers just enough information to whet their appetites so that they’ll want to know more. CIMs are one of our specialties at Morgan & Westfield. In the article below, we outline the most common questions asked by buyers, along with a suggested table of contents that you can use in drafting your own CIM. Read on for complete overview of the process. Table of Contents Why Can’t Buyers Just Come Look at My Business? What is the Most Efficient Way to Sell My Business? This...

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How do I maximize the value of my business? Start by making it appear less fungible. You can’t necessarily retool your product line overnight, but you can identify and promote specific aspects of your business that give you -- and the new owner -- an edge. Fungibility is the ability of individual units of a good or a commodity to be substituted for one another. Essentially, it means the goods are interchangeable. For example, one $10 bill is interchangeable with any other genuine $10 bill or with any combination of bills and coins that add up to $10. Fungible commodities include water, food, precious metals, and, possibly, your business. So, what does fungibility have to do with your company? In business, a fungible asset is one that can easily be substituted for another asset. For example, machinery may be considered a fungible asset in certain types of businesses. Labor may also be considered fungible in certain industries. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, a fungible business is one that can be easily substituted by the acquisition of another business. For example, if a buyer is purchasing a business solely for the cash flow it generates, then that buyer can...

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What are the steps I’ll need to take to sell my business? It’s a complicated process but you can simplify the procedure with a plan and increase your chances for a successful sale by properly executing each step of that plan. The Process of Selling a Business -- The Seven Steps Prepare a confidential information memorandum (CIM). A CIM is a written overview of your business that answers key questions nearly every buyer will ask. Confidentially market your business. When selling your business, determine if the ideal buyer is an individual, competitor, or private equity firm; then create a plan that’s customized to attract your targeted buyer. Screen buyers and email them your CIM. Most buyer inquiries come through email. Include basic information about your business and ask the potential buyer to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before you send them your CIM. Share information and meet with qualified buyers. Share your CIM and normalized financials with interested buyers. If the buyer asks a few follow-up questions, answer them. If the buyer sends you a long list of questions, set up an in-person or phone meeting. Negotiate and accept an offer. Ask the buyer for a letter of intent (LOI)....

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