When negotiating for an acquisition, we always recommend you, as the buyer, try to match the seller’s negotiation team. Many owners are selling their company for the first time and in most cases their company will be smaller than yours. Arriving to the negotiation table with a swarm of lawyers can be overwhelming and may […]

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We had been in negotiations with the seller, Martin, and his team all day and despite diverging perspectives on a few issues we had managed to nail down several important aspects of the agreement involving intellectual property and key employee contracts. The next afternoon when we resumed negotiations, Martin brought up the employee contracts again […]

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During negotiations, a third-party M&A advisor acts as a buffer between buyer and seller. As you can imagine, negotiations can become quite intense and emotional on both sides and we want to do everything in our power to preserve a harmonious relationship between both parties. Having a good working relationship with the seller is important, […]

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When it comes to negotiation, we often hear about “win-win situations” where both sides benefit from the deal no matter what. While I understand the need to come to a consensus in order to move a deal forward, we’re not big fans of negotiation for a “win-win” because it implies you are also negotiating for […]

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Price is often the number one focus in mergers and acquisitions and everyone is eager to get down to the numbers. However, as you might expect, buyers and sellers have very different expectations on price, which can lead to friction between the two parties. On the one hand, most sellers plan to offer their business […]

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After signing a letter of intent, you expect the deal to close, but there are a number of reasons acquisitions fail ranging from regulatory hurdles to unexpected challenges that arise during due diligence to cultural clashes. In my last post, I discussed reasons deals fall apart even after both parties sign a LOI. Here are […]

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For an owner of a privately-held company, the business is their baby and using hard-nosed tactics to negotiate for the lowest price is ill-advised. The human factor cannot be overlooked when pursuing M&A and establishing trust with an owner is critical. Buying a privately-held business is not like buying a car where you can negotiate the […]

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  Q: When a company has two owners that are equally involved is it advisable to ask them to choose only one negotiator, especially at the final stages? A: Negotiating with one owner of a company and convincing them to sell their business can already be challenging. The situation becomes more complex when the company you wish to […]

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SABMiller has agreed to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $106 billion offer to acquire it. Together, they will form a global beer conglomerate with $64 billion in annual revenues that is estimated to make up 29% of global beer sales. The new company would be three times bigger than its next competitor, Heineken. Given that this is such […]

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Q: Who is the internal champion on the M&A team? What is their role? A: The internal champion is an important member of your M&A team. Your acquisition team should include people from your own company such as the CEO, CFO, the internal champion, and functional leaders, and external experts such as lawyers, accountants, valuation experts, due diligence experts […]

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Time your negotiations by understanding owner psychology. Everyone wants to talk about price in mergers and acquisitions. It’s often the number one focus of buyers and sellers…but for opposite reasons. Both are likely to say they are looking for a “good deal,” but this can have a completely different meaning depending on the perspective. Buyers […]

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Pursuing M&A is a passionate process. Emotions run the gambit from excitement in finding a new deal to anxiety about risks uncovered during the acquisition. I’ve found due diligence and negotiations to be among the most stressful times during mergers and acquisitions. Here are six ways to help everyone keep their cool during these critical […]

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A collaborative mindset often leads to the best long-term outcome when you’re looking to buy another company. Buying a company is not like buying a used car where you walk away and never see the dealer again. It can be more like buying an automobile with the seller thrown in. Imagine yourself at a dealership […]

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During due diligence, you may uncover deal-changing issues, or what I like to call “red bucket items.” Identifying these risks doesn’t necessarily mean you walk away from a deal, but you will need to negotiate new terms with the seller. Among the ways to protect yourself as the buyer when you find major issues: 1. […]

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From my perspective of largely successful acquisitions, most acquisitions end in failure because they are missing a third-party advisor. A third-party advisor can play an irreplaceable role on your acquisition team as an ‘‘outside insider’’ who can unearth hidden intelligence, resolve stubborn conflicts, help cooler heads prevail, and maintain a strategic perspective from beginning to […]

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Yesterday, we learned that Facebook’s bid for Israeli startup Waze has ended. According to reports, negotiations broke down over disagreements on moving the Waze team from Israel to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook was rumored to be in talks to buy Waze for $1 billion. This is a great example of why it’s […]

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I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing everything down during negotiations. Once an item has been discussed and decided upon, have someone from each party initial the notes to confirm the completion. Maintaining a written record helps to keep everyone on the same page. Without such a record, you run the danger of having two […]

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Before you enter negotiation with an acquisition prospect, there are six key questions you and your acquisition team should answer: 1) What is the “big picture”? The key here is to have just one strategic reason for acquisition that you developed at the beginning of the acquisition process. 2) What elements of the “owner’s equation” […]

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When approaching negotiation for an acquisition, it’s essential to establish the right mindset from the start. You should strike a balance between negotiating firmly on the one hand and protecting your relationship with the acquisition prospect on the other. Any potential deal suffers tremendously when the parties become combative. You can be a tough negotiator […]

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