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A privately held business typically represents a significant portion of this owner's net worth. The business is likely the primary source of income during the owner's working years and its realized value the cornerstone for long-term financial security. Paradoxically, many owners are so immersed in running the business, they find themselves unprepared for the single most important financial event of their lifetime - their transition out of the business.
At GreerWalker Corporate Finance we deliver a unique blend of exit planning and investment banking services. Successfully exiting a business involves more than a transaction, and it does not happen overnight. The most successful transition out of a business entails deliberate planning and successful execution.
Our comprehensive exit planning process begins with the identification of the business owner's personal and financial goals and input from as many as ten professional disciplines and results in a cohesive, written exit plan. The exit plan is a customized roadmap to guide the business owner and advisors through each step to a successful exit transition and beyond.
Third Party Sales
The sale of a business to a third party is often the transaction of choice for the owner who wishes to realize the maximum value for his or her business and relinquish operational control. Depending on the size of the business, the industry in which it competes, economic trends, and other factors, the third party buyer may be:
- A strategic buyer (another industry player)
- A financial buyer (a private equity group)
- An individual buyer (may be either a strategic or financial buyer)
When representing a seller in a third party sale, our process is designed to simultaneously bring multiple buyers to the table to ensure the best possible valuation and transaction structure for our clients. Our professionals have successfully advised hundreds of clients representing many industries in the sale of their companies.
Family Ownership Transitions
Transitioning business ownership to family members is often more complex than the sale or transfer to third parties. These transactions often present unique estate planning and tax planning opportunities that are unavailable in other transaction types. Maximizing value to the current owner may or may not be the primary objective in a family ownership transition. Business continuity is critically important. We have successfully guided many businesses and their owners through the most complex family transition issues, and we bring that experience to every client.
The sale of a business to the incumbent management team is often an attractive exit option for owners of privately held businesses. This is especially true if a sale to a third party or transfer to a family member is not considered a good alternative. When representing owners, we assist in evaluating, structuring, and executing the sale to management transaction. We also work with management teams in all aspects of the buyout transaction, including sourcing capital to fund the buyout transaction.
For the successful business owner who may not be ready to leave the business but desires personal liquidity to facilitate asset diversification, a recapitalization may be an attractive alternative to selling the entire business. We work with business owners to identify financial partners who will purchase a portion of the business, providing liquidity for the owner, and allowing the owner to retain an equity stake in the business and frequently also maintain operational control.
A recapitalization represents "the best of both worlds" for many owners:
- The opportunity to protect much of the value they have build in their business
- The opportunity to eliminate personal guarantees of bank debt, and
- Significant upside potential through a second liquidity event in the future
We offer a wealth of experience and deep knowledge base of private equity and debt financing sources across the country.
We are actively engaged in representing buyers who have identified a specific target company for acquisitions, or who have established their acquisition criteria but seek assistance in the process of searching for a suitable target. Our buy-side clients include businesses looking to grow through strategic acquisition, private equity groups looking for platform or add-on acquisition candidates, and individual interested in buying private businesses either to operate themselves or for investment purposes. Our buyer services include:
- Acquisition searches
- Target company pre-qualification
- Financial analysis
- Target company valuation
- Transaction structure and negotiation
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