we’ll discuss some of the lesser known, but frequent challenges that can occur when selling a company. While most are avoidable, they can still be tricky issues to navigate in a business sale process.
According to participants in yesterday’s Bricktown Capital Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma has a need for more robust venture capital, nurture capital and in some cases private equity, when an entrepreneur needs between $1 million and $5 million to fuel the growth of their business. For any higher amounts, out of state capital is targeting Oklahoma companies, and for amounts below $1 million, there are small business grants, loans, incentives, family money and even bootstrapping that can provide the required capital. It is the critical gap in between where we need to focus our efforts.
Numerous studies have shown that a more efficient and better managed dataroom, disclosure and due diligence process can lead to higher acquisition prices and higher closing success rates for the sellers of midsized companies.
In the last year, huge numbers of loans were refinanced on the back of competition among lenders to sell money and attractive loan pricing. As a result, many CFOs have now refinanced, put their loan documents away and will revisit them in a few years when it’s time to renew. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy anymore; in particular in a sluggish and faltering economy, as your creditors keep a closer eye on all the covenants of your loan.
How is it possible to make an acquisition valuation based only upon earnings multiples in disparate economic environments and business climates? And how heavily should we rely upon “standard” earnings multiples for comparable transactions in an industry?
In April and May, commercial and industrial lending was strong, companies were opening up new revolvers and refinancing at reduced rates. Banks were allowing extended maturities and were eager to put money to work; so much so, that some banks were loosening lending standards to offer favorable terms to those with less than strong credits.
First, a couple of thoughts on earnouts when you sell your business. While an earnouts is often seen as a mechanism to defer payment of the purchase price; if used correctly, it should in fact be consideration to the seller of a company over and above full cash paid at closing. Earnouts should not be considered part of the purchase price if/until they materialize and are paid to the seller, but why not set additional opportunities to increase the purchase price paid, over and above the full cash price paid? If “x” is the maximum that a buyer will pay for a company in cash at closing, it is still possible to negotiate “x” at closing, plus an additional 25-50% or more after closing. As with most things in life and business, it is not the tool that is at fault, it is the way that it can be misused and misunderstood.
Well, this may seem a strange day to write about inflation – I just read this morning that fixed-rate mortgage rates have dropped this week to the lowest level this year, with a 15-year available at 3.75%. However, it doesn’t do much good to dwell on the past or present – we should always be considering other scenarios in the future to stay ahead of the competition.
April 25, 2011. The positive start for Oklahoma and Midwest mergers and acquisitions activity in 2011 is gaining strength and momentum. Higher prices, cash at closing, more deals getting done. Click "More" below to read this article.
April 11, 2011. We are going to consider the reasons behind the likely reduction in number of banks in Oklahoma and some of the implications. Is there anything that can be done to preserve more small, regional banks or is this change inevitable?