Following on from my last article about preparing your business for sale, I share our knowledge on how a business can be effectively marketed for sale.
There are several key steps:
Populate a list of potentially interested parties
Through detailed and thorough research a list of potentially interested parties should be prepared. This is typically achieved through a combination of:
- reviewing transactions in the sector
- understanding habitual buyers
- understanding the supplier and customer base of the company
- reading trade magazines
- carrying out detailed internet research into the sector
- utilising the power of a professional network of advisors
Following the implementation of GDPR legislation, this list needs to carefully vetted to ensure compliance with data protection regulations. In addition to these targeted approaches, we will often use commonly utilised business sale websites as a method to accessing a wider audience.
Preparation of a Sale Preview Document or ‘Teaser’
This is a key document in marketing the business for sale. The Teaser provides an overview of the company including a brief financial summary and will highlight the opportunities the business presents to potential purchasers. The information encompassed in this document is completely anonymous but will be sufficient to enable the recipient to make an informed decision as to whether they would like further details. The document is then distributed to the targets on your list of potentially interested parties.
Preparation of an Information Memorandum
The Information Memorandum (or IM) is a document that provides a much greater level of detail about the company. The level of information in the IM should be sufficient for potential buyers to provide preliminary offers for the business.
Please note your client will expect you to have some controls in before the IM is sent.
Therefore, following the Teaser mail out to the list of potentially interested parties, we will seek satisfactory completion of the following documentation from interested parties before sending the IM:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement – This agreement is the protection against non-authorised disclosure of sensitive information relating to your business.
- Standard buyer Vetting Form – The vetting form helps to determine the intentions of the interested party and whether they are likely to be able to finance the transaction.
Typically, both the Non-Disclosure Agreement and Vetting Form are enclosed with the mailed Sale Preview Document. If responses are not received it is usual for a courtesy telephone call to be made to ensure that the opportunity has not been missed.
Release of Information Memorandum
Once a completed Non-Disclosure Agreement and Vetting Form has been received from an interested party, the Information Memorandum would be released, allowing the interested party the information they need to assess the opportunity and make a preliminary offer.