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
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.
Naturally there will be no cost or
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
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
Selecting Professional Help
By this stage you will have selected us - a
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
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
To ensure confidentiality we
implement two phases:
Advertisement and Initial
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
Before anyone has access to your
Prospectus they will have signed a
confidentiality agreement and you will
have approved the organisation as a
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
- Heads of Agreement
- Due Diligence
- Legal Contracts
- Liaison with your advisers
- Help drink the Champagne!