What is a 338 Election? How would I use it when I sell my business? In a typical acquisition (using an S-corporation as an example), the seller seeks to maximize capital gains, on which they pay a lower tax rate, and the buyer seeks to maximize the present value of tax deductions. While this may be desired, there may be a need to effect the transaction as a stock deal rather than an asset deal.
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.