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How M&A Specialists Can Make or Break The Sale Of Your Business

December 19, 2023

Selling a business, especially if it’s your first – and possibly last – deal of this type, is a mammoth undertaking. Sure, you can go-it-alone. But as most seasoned sellers’ will advise, you’re likely to lose far more than you would spend on hiring a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) specialist to facilitate the sale of your business. Or, as Jeff Mains, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Champion Leadership Group, puts it: you’re going to land up paying “The Dumb Tax”!

The long and short of it is that experienced M&A advisors possess the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complex world of buying and selling businesses, and their influence can have a substantial impact on the success of your business sale.

From obtaining multiple buyers to negotiating favorable terms, an expert mergers and acquisitions specialist will guide you through every step of the sale process, maximizing your chances of achieving a successful outcome.

In this article we delve into the many ways an expert M&A specialist will maximize value in the sale of your business.

The Role of Mergers and Acquisitions Specialists

Mergers and acquisitions specialists play a pivotal role in the success of M&A transactions. They act as strategic advisors, guiding you, the business owner, through the entire process and helping you achieve your desired outcomes. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks that, in broad-strokes, include:

1. M&A Financial Analysis

M&A specialists conduct a comprehensive financial analysis of your business to assess the value and viability of potential deals. This involves evaluating financial statements, cash flow projections and the all-important EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) calculation of your business.

2. M&A Due Diligence and Documentation

M&A specialists will conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that all aspects of your business are in order. This includes reviewing financial statements, contracts, licenses, and any potential legal or regulatory issues. They will also prepare the necessary documentation, such as the sales agreement and disclosure statements, to protect your interests throughout the sale process.

3. M&A Legal Planning

Selling a business involves complying with various legal and regulatory requirements. This ranges from obtaining the necessary permits and/or licenses to complying with employment laws, and addressing any potential liabilities. M&A specialists will work closely with your legal experts to ensure that you meet all necessary obligations.

4. M&A Tax and Financial Planning

Selling a business has significant tax implications. M&A specialists like Woodbridge International work closely with tax and financial experts to develop a comprehensive tax and financial planning strategy.

5. M&A Market Preparation

A good M&A specialist will work with a business owner to prepare him/her on how to make the biggest pitch of their lives: the sale of their business. For example, Woodbridge International provides a two-day management meeting training for all clients, which equips business owners to confidently pitch their business to potential buyers.

6. M&A Marketing

A good M&A advisor will leverage proactive marketing to showcase your company’s unique selling points to potential buyers. In addition to a professional pitch book, Woodbridge International produces a custom video for each client, showcasing what makes the business noteworthy to potential buyers.

7. M&A Deal Sourcing

M&A specialists leverage their network and market intelligence to identify potential merger targets and/or buyers that align with your business objectives. Seasoned M&A specialists have a network of buyers to market your business to.

Woodbridge International has a network of thousands of strategic buyers and private equity groups to whom we market clients’ businesses in an auction-led process. Our proven strategy behind this approach is simple, yet effective: ‘More Buyers, More Bids, Higher Price, Better Fit’. In other words: Woodbridge markets your company to our massive international database. This auction-led process ensures our clients get more buyers, more bids, a higher price for their business and, ultimately, a better fit for their business acquisition or merger.

8. M&A Negotiation and Deal Structuring

M&A specialists are skilled negotiators who can help secure the best possible terms for your transaction. They will help you determine the most advantageous deal structure, whether it’s an asset sale, stock sale, or merger. M&A specialists will consider factors such as tax implications, legal protections, and the preferences of potential buyers to structure a deal that meets your goals. An M&A advisor will also assist in structuring the deal, including determining the purchase price, payment terms, and other key terms and conditions.

9. M&A Exit and Integration Planning

After the deal is closed, managing the business owner’s exit strategy and/or integrating the company into the acquiring buyer’s existing operations is crucial to maximize value. M&A specialists assist in developing an exit strategy and/or an acquisition integration plan, identifying synergies, and managing the integration process to ensure a smooth transition.

10. M&A Wealth Planning

Selling a business can be a major financial windfall for the business owner(s) and an opportunity to retire or start a new life chapter, provided that windfall is correctly managed. Like all seasoned M&A specialists, Woodbridge International partners with wealth planning experts to ensure all clients are well prepared to manage the financial aspects of the sale of their business, and how best to use the sale profits to achieve their personal and/or professional goals.

Benefits of Working With M&A Specialists

When you consider the multi-faceted roles that M&A specialists fulfill throughout the sales process, it’s clear that working with these experts offers numerous benefits that can significantly impact the outcome of your business sale. To summarize, these are the key advantages of hiring an M&A advisor:

  1. Industry Knowledge and Expertise: M&A specialists have a deep understanding of the market dynamics and trends specific to your industry. Their expertise allows them to position your business strategically, highlight its unique selling points, and attract the attention of potential buyers.
  2. Access to a Vast Network: M&A specialists have an extensive network of contacts within the business community. This network includes potential buyers, investors, and other professionals involved in the M&A process. By leveraging these connections they can find the right buyer for your business quickly and efficiently.
  3. Reduced Workload and Stress: Selling a business is a time-consuming and complex process. By partnering with an M&A specialist, you can offload much of the work involved in the sale. They will handle all the paperwork, negotiations, and due diligence, allowing you to focus on running your business during this critical period.
  4. Maximized Value: Perhaps the most significant benefit of working with an M&A specialist is the potential to maximize the value of your business sale. Their expertise in valuation, negotiation, and deal structuring can help you secure the best possible price for your business.

A word of caution: not all M&A firms are equal! Always do your due diligence to ensure the M&A advisor you choose is experienced and the right match for your specific needs. Read ‘Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Mergers and Acquisitions Specialist’ for a Q&A check-list to ask prospective M&A partners before you take the big leap.

Ask Woodbridge International these due diligence questions to find out if we’re the right fit for your business. Book your one-on-one, obligation-free meeting today.