Selling & Acquiring Training Companies

Selling a Business

Can you cope with the time consuming sales process?

From personal experience (rather than via a text book or experience selling companies in other industries) we really know what it is like to sell your training business; firstly you think about the 'cash' (hence you probably went to our business valuation page first!) but you will probably not have considered your emotional attachment to the business or the frustration of 'someone else' making all the decisions in the future.

From personal experience it is our opinion that the business transfer process is more stressful than divorce, separation, teenage children, the dentist and moving home put together! We can't help with these other stressful situations but we can help you to sell your business with the least amount of stress possible, and for the best price - we have some good case studies to share with you.

We shall take the time burden from you wherever possible, leaving you to run your business successfully which in turn keeps the sale price high.

Is your business ready for marketing?

The answer will be 'no'. Running a business under normal conditions (business as usual) is very different to the hard-nosed focused approach needed to get the best possible price for the sale of the business. Your staff, who will not know about the sale, will not recognise your new approach to doing business; they will see a new breed of executive. This is all part of the Grooming Service noted below.

Initial Meeting

Naturally there will be no cost or obligation.

You will meet our Managing Director, Peter Kiddle, to discuss how we can work together, agree an outline strategy for a successful sale and discuss fees. Peter has a straightforward and consultative style and because he has sold his own training business in a multi-million pound deal he can really understand the challenges you will face.

It is likely that the following approach will be recommended with each stage requiring differing input from us and you depending on your 'state of readiness' for the sale.

Selecting Professional Help

By this stage you will have selected us - a good decision!

If necessary we can help prepare a shortlist of professional advisers such as the accountant, lawyer, tax specialist etc. It is important to involve all the advisers at an early stage - even if they do not do very much during the early months.

Grooming Your Business

This is the critical stage. Due to our unique understanding of the training sector we add value in two key areas:

How to exploit the positives and reduce the negatives

This is not about hiding the truth - pointless anyway for the due diligence process will reveal everything and the buyer will get protection via the legal contract to be signed.

The process we adopt deals with how to present your business and find what can be done in the short-term to drive up the sale price. This can include creatively identifying ongoing costs that will not apply under new ownership, determining those factors that a specific type of purchaser would accept as profit enhancers, reviewing contracts signed with customers and employees, review capital and marketing spend commitments, consider property ownership, complete a SWOT analysis, prepare an organisational structure and succession plan, review any litigation, improve profitability, remove single customer dependency, evaluate taxation and the management accounts etc.

Preparation for Due Diligence

Many deals are lost at the Due Diligence stage (this is where the purchaser checks that your business is sound in all respects). We have the experience and expertise in our team to help ensure you are ready for the sale. In essence this involves us completing Due Diligence on you to find all the problem areas, we then work together to rectify these problems - and there will be many! It is likely to be a 'deal-breaker' if you wait for the real Due Diligence to happen. Due to our experience in your sector we do not use a 'standard approach' - we ask you the questions you will not want to answer!

Once the Grooming Service has been completed you will be ready to start the Marketing Stage.

Marketing

To ensure confidentiality we implement two phases:

Advertisement and Initial Company Information

These documents are carefully constructed to highlight the key positives of the business but will not identify your organisation. We then manage the response on a confidential basis.

Prospectus or Information Pack

This document is critical to success. It is likely that the buyer will circulate the document to the rest of the Board and their advisers so it needs to appeal to all parties. It is, without doubt, a sales document (with plenty of facts included) and we will work together to determine content. We then produce the first draft and devote sufficient time to ensure it is successful.

Targeting Purchasers

Before anyone has access to your Prospectus they will have signed a confidentiality agreement and you will have approved the organisation as a potential acquirer.

We have extensive market information, senior contacts and a wide range of organisations that will have interest in your business. In addition you may have specific organisations that you would like us to contact. We shall also advertise using specialist websites.

At this stage it is unlikely that the price will be disclosed - although we shall have agreed the figure. This often attracts higher offers than expected!

Meet Potential Purchasers

We will help you to prepare for these meetings, mainly focused on 'sell it rather than tell it' and then attend together. We need to inspire a purchaser and help them to 'see' the business as it is now and how it could be following the acquisition - creativity required, honesty essential.

Negotiation of Deal

We aim to have a number of competing buyers to help improve the price offered. To maintain the all-important relationship between buyer and seller we handle all the negotiations for you. We have first hand experience of enhancing deal values to the satisfaction of all parties.

Completion of Sale

We support you through the various stages including:

  • Heads of Agreement
  • Due Diligence
  • Legal Contracts
  • Liaison with your advisers
  • Help drink the Champagne!

Buying a Business
Selling a Business
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