What You don't know about selling your company - 10 stages that secure you a dream price

Written by Katerina Zakrevskaya

“Whether your primary goal is to achieve highest possible sales price or to find ideal growth capital investors, make sure you understand the sales process stages”, said Gokce Ataman at our Thursday’s workshop on 24.02. 2019 in Bærum International Hub.  

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A specialist in corporate finance, Gokce Ataman has shared his hands on knowledge on sales business process. He has sold companies for 600 000 million dollars in the last 10 years of his career and experienced that business owners are not always aware of time and effort they have to invest in sales. 

Why would u sell?

There are plenty of reasons and Gokce Ataman shared with us just a few of them:

  1. You simply get bored 

  2. You look for a financial partner to expand your business

  3. Succession issue. You get old and your children don't want to continue your business.

  4. You want free the capital to develop another business idea

10 stages in a company sales process 

A typical sales process for a mid- size private company takes between 6 month and 1 year. It is a sophisticated process that requires a lot of steps. 

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Be aware of your goals

You shall be aware of your primary and secondary goals.

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When to sell?

Make sure that you are selling your company when it is still hot and your company is attractive in the market. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS from Gokce Ataman workshop

  • Have a good team of financial, legal and tax advisers in place to support you 

  • Prepare for sales: keep your financial statement clean 

  • Keep any non-operational assets out of your business

  • Build a good reporting infrastructure to generate high quality management reports for faster evaluation of your business. 

  • Negotiate the purchase price  but remember to give comfort to the buyer in terms of transaction structure and transition of top management

  • Do not limit your options by talking to a single buyer

  • Prepare a good business plan and information memorandum with good overview of your Company’s capabilities and future growth opportunities 

  • Adjust the information flow in accordance with the buyer’s interest level and stage of sales process: don't give all your critical information to the buyer right away

  • Set realistic expectations about your business’ sales price by looking at trading multiplies of companies listed in the stock market and comparable transactions in your business field

  • Remember the 4 main drivers of business valuation: high growth, high profitability, low net working capital and low capital expenditures

  • Be open-minded: listen to the offer and what any potential buyer has to say even though you don't want to sell at the moment.

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