Sarah’s company had been speaking to the prospect for months and was almost ready to sign a letter of intent, when all of a sudden, the seller changed his mind and walked away from the deal. Sarah and her team were stunned and left asking, “What happened?” Unfortunately, deals do fall apart for a variety […]

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Despite your best efforts to convince an owner to sell, sometimes you will find that an owner of a not-for-sale company is just not ready to let go – even if he or she thinks partnering with your company is the right decision. In some cases, you will have to part ways and move on […]

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The short answer to this question is no. Some owners may sell to the highest bidder, but this is not always the case. Differentiating by price alone is problematic for a number of reasons, the most obvious being that someone can always outbid you. In addition, when it comes to privately-held transactions, especially, we find […]

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“I’m not interested in selling my business right now.” “We already have a strategic plan in place.” “We are already talking to another buyer.” “Why should I listen to you? I get asked to sell all the time.” “I may sell in a few years when my company has a higher value.” “Who are you????” […]

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Owners are usually skeptical or defensive when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” company. In fact, many will hang up or refuse to consider your offer. If you do manage to break through and get the owner to agree to a first meeting, your job is to put them at ease, dissuade fears and communicate the […]

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When contacting an owner about acquisitions, don’t be surprised to hear “no.” Most owners, when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” business will automatically refuse simply because it’s unexpected. Remember, for an owner focused on running the day-to-day operations of his business, this offer is coming out of the blue. There are, of course, a number of […]

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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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“I felt so vulnerable. I didn’t know what to do or what to talk about,” Dan told me. As the CEO of a food manufacturer who was pursuing acquisitions, he had a first meeting with an owner of a packaging facility before he engaged Capstone. When we met he expressed feelings of uncertainty and how […]

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How do you begin your courtship of a not-for-sale company? Sending a letter is fairly common practice for contacting owners, but it’s not the most effective way to communicate. A letter will not attract the owner’s attention and likely will go into the trash without being read. There’s a better way to stand out from the […]

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As an M&A consultant, I’m often asked exactly how we persuade the owners of not-for-sale companies to sell.  My years of experience speaking with owners and facilitating acquisitions makes the process easier, but the real secret is understanding owner psychology. In contacting an owner, you can’t lay out a detailed acquisition plan. The key is […]

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Making first contact with an owner and important step in the acquisition process. It is your opportunity to get your foot in the door and start a positive relationship that could lead to acquisition. So, how do you go about contacting owners? In my post for the ACG National Capital Blog I outline how to initiate […]

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Personal connection matters, especially when it comes to the first connection with an owner of an acquisition prospect. This first connection is a decisive step.  Handled correctly, it can initiate a positive relationship that may eventually lead to union. Handled poorly, that one phone call can terminate your opportunity to buy. When initiating contact with […]

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I have rarely found an owner who, when asked if he would consider selling his business, immediately says, ‘‘Yes, I want to sell, and I want to sell now.’’ If you did actually get an immediate yes, this might well indicate weakness on the part of the prospect. Most often, though, the responses you will […]

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