Mergers & Acquisitions Panel

At some point, most of my members will sell their businesses to create a major liquidity event for them. I am of the belief that they should all be preparing their companies for sale whether it is or not.

I invited several of my trusted advisors in for a panel discussion about the process of selling one’s business. This is normally a one-time thing for a business owner and critical since the majority of the net worth of too many business owners is tied up in the value of their business. So it is essential they maximize that value in order to enjoy retirement.

Panel members included:
Chris Andersen – AssayCS – Assay is a blended, middle market advisory and M&A firm located in San Francisco – Chris talked about the selling process which can take up to a year or more; the necessity to start preparing your business for sale 1-2 years before the event; and the importance for having a specialized team acting on your behalf. This includes an M&A advisory, a transaction attorney, a CPA, and a financial advisor.

Roger Brothers – Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP Roger is a partner in this Walnut Creek law firm. He talked about different deal structures; the importance of having an attorney who is skilled at doing deals, and not the company’s corporate attorney, and engaging the attorney before the letter of intent stage.

Robert Houston – BPM (formerly Burr Pilger Mayer) – Bob is a tax partner with BPM in their Walnut Creek office. He talked about deal structure; asset vs. stock sale; and ways to minimize the tax consequences of a large transaction as this could be for an owner.

John O’Dea – Summit Financial Group, LLC – John is a financial advisor for Summit located in San Ramon. He addressed the need to meet with the owner(s) prior to the start of the selling process.

Understanding the financial needs of the owner(s) is a key component to then building the value of the company prior to it being marketed in order to meet the retirement lifestyle the owners are seeking to create for themselves.

There was an enthusiastic Q&A session during each panel member’s presentation as well as at the conclusion.