Business valuation

The M&A process can be a minefield to navigate if it’s not your job to know how.

Working alongside an advisory firm not only gives you professional knowledge to accelerate your sale but provides comprehensive insight that only comes with a wealth of expertise. We will help guide you through each stage and structure a deal that meets your future needs.

M&A advisory

Buyer Analysis

Our goal is to find the optimal buyer for you and your company. Because of this we take the time to create buyer lists that are well researched. We look for strategic, financial, family offices, off-shore entities, and synergistic buyers that are the best fit for your business and will offer the optimal deal for you. We don’t use a “cookie cutter”, one list fits all approach that far too many firms use. We take the time to get to know you, your financial goals/needs, and your company to find the buyers that make the most sense. And any list we create you have final approval before we send any information out.

Buyer Negotiations

Closing a transaction requires detailed negotiations over the details that ultimately affect you, the seller. Our deal teams not only are familiar with all the hurdles that can arise during negotiations, their years of experience allow them to overcome them.Our clients often tell us that without our negotiation skills, and helping them to understand what the buyers are really after, their transactions would most likely not have closed.

Deal Structure Guidance

Every client we work with is unique, having personal, financial, and business goals that require the structuring of their deals to match their needs. Our deal teams are diligent to first learn and understand the needs of our clients and their businesses.We then work hard to negotiate the optimal deal for each; transactions that provide not only the valuation required, but deal structures that protect the client (and the business) over the longer term.

Divestiture Strategies

Quite often our clients have extensive holdings in multiple companies and industries. Most of the time they have divestiture needs in order to cash out some holdings and retain others. This is especially true of Family Offices that hire us to divest them of specific companies in industries that they no longer have interest in operating. Our deal teams have the expertise in setting up limited auctions for each holding and in some cases, dividing companies up into separate entities in order to obtain the best deal for our clients.

Due Diligence Readiness

A typical due diligence checklist consists of 200-300 detailed questions covering every aspect of your business from sales and marketing to HR, IT, operations, and accounting. This is where most deals can fall apart, especially if the documentation is not accurate, and readily available, to provide buyers. Prior to entering this critical phase, our deal teams work hard to get the client and his/her team ready for the types of questions that will often arise. The last three to four months of a transaction, which is when due diligence occurs, can be the most grueling for a business owner. Our deal makers are skilled in getting clients across the finish line despite hurdles that often arise during due diligence.

Exit Planning Guidance

Exiting a company via an acquisition/merger event is a huge undertaking for most business owners. Far too many put off even planning for their eventual exit because the task can be very daunting.Our deal teams have decades of collective experience working with business owners through this often emotional, stressful process. We work closely with our clients to ensure that the exit plans pursued and deals structured are optimal for them. Just as each owner is unique, so too are each of our transactions. We tailor our exit planning advice to your specific needs.

Full Documentation Preparation

The level of documentation required to close a transaction is daunting unless you have the experience our deal teams have. We not only prepare the evaluation of your company (and the Roadmap for Enhancing Value you can use to grow your business) we also create all sales documentation. This includes the Offering Memorandum, Confidential Business Profile and Non Disclosure Agreement that we have all potential buyers sign before providing any detailed information on your business. Buyers like looking at our deals because they know our documentation will be accurate, thorough, and in a format that allows them to easily discern why your opportunity makes sense for them.

Leveraged Transactions

A leveraged M&A transaction is where the company is purchased by the buyer with a combination of debt and equity. Usually the acquired company’s cash flow is used to secure and repay the borrowed money. This deal structure is often used by equity firms to fund their transactions, although strategic buyers use it as well when necessary. Our deal makers are experienced and skilled in creating leverage buyouts that both create the most value for the client and ensure that the company has adequate cash flow to cover the debt.

Management Buyouts

Management buyouts need to be carefully constructed so that the exiting owner is ensured of full payment over time. The sad reality is that many entrepreneurs, without professional guidance, often accept management buyout structures that require up to 90% of the value paid to them over a 5-10 year time frame. If the business takes a turn for the worse (or if the new owner-managers are not capable), future payments can be at risk. Our deal teams are experienced enough to craft deal structures that protect our clients for these scenarios.

Minority Equity Transactions

Also known as partial sales, minority equity transactions are usually structured so that the seller is allowed to retain a minority equity position in the company, while receiving payment for the equity transferred to new owners. This is a great structure if you are willing to stay with the newly recapitalized business for an indefinite period of time. It allows you to participate in a “second bite of the apple” when the much larger entity is sold (or taken public) at a later date. Typically equity firms “bolt” these partial sale transactions onto their existing platforms in order to grow the platform company.

Sell-Side Transactions

M&A advisory firms, like Generational Equity, usually work on either the sell side (representing sellers) or the buy side (representing buyers) and some work on both. At Generational Equity we ONLY represent sellers; all of our clients are privately held business owners, we never take a fee from any buyers. This gives you the confidence that we are only working for you, representing you to the 30,000+ buyers in our buyer database. According to Thomson Reuters M&A rankings, no sell-side, lower middle market M&A firm has closed more transactions than Generational Equity over the past decade.