Back to Case Studies

The Managed Sale Process

Business owners make the decision to sell their companies for many reasons, both financial and personal. Regardless of motivation, owners should recognize that selling their business is not just a single event but rather a process, and the manner in which that process is conducted can have significant implications, both for the value received by the seller and for the ongoing operations of the company itself. How do you protect your company, preserve the legacy you have built and achieve your non-financial goals, while still receiving full value?

Key Deliverables

Helped the family owners assess and quantify their financial alternatives in the context of industry challenges and future legacy

Conducted a targeted and highly confidential marketing effort to protect the company and family shareholders

Communicated with only the most senior personnel at potential suitor organizations and confirmed interest without disruption to the business or market knowledge of the process

Generated multiple viable offers at attractive valuation points, allowing the client to select a buyer most aligned with their non-financial objectives while maximizing proceeds

Situation Summary

Operating in a competitive and quickly consolidating industry, the family owners of a very high profile business recognized that they lacked the economies of scale needed to succeed. To ensure the company’s future success, they determined the most appropriate path was to sell the business that had been owned by the family for more than 100 years.

While receiving a good price was key for the family owners, it was also essential that any buyer represent a good custodian of the business, its employees and customers, since the family’s legacy in the community was so closely tied to the company. Additionally, with a number of other commercial enterprises under common ownership by this highly visible local family, the process of exploring financial alternatives had to be highly confidential and minimally disruptive.

Bulkley Capital began our assignment by completing a detailed financial analysis of the company’s operations, including quantifying the synergies available to various types of buyers. Together with ownership and senior management we then arrived at a shortlist of qualified acquirers offering the financial and operating profile to complete a transaction and support the company’s future growth.

We apply a rifle, rather than a shotgun, approach to marketing a company for sale because we believe widespread auctions entail unnecessary risk of damage to the business. A broad marketing effort raises concerns among customers and vendors, can cause good employees to seek alternative opportunities and often gives competitors ammunition to use against you in the market.

We were able to avoid these risks by working with only with the few most interested parties and maintaining momentum through an efficient exchange of information, earnest conversation with the most senior decision makers and early discussions on price. We also coordinated with legal and other advisors who were all located out of the seller’s market. The family maximized value through a competitive process and also selected a buyer deemed to be ideal based on its access to capital, track record of growth and, critically, its commitment to quality operations and community involvement.