Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need an investment banker when I can sell my business myself?
Locating a buyer is a difficult process and an owner needs a skilled professional who has knowledge of the market place and an awareness of acquirers who are capable of affecting an acquisition. This is not a do-it-yourself project. There is no substitute for the specialized knowledge, experience, broad network of buyer contacts, and seasoned objectivity of an investment banker. An owner does not have the expertise or global resources to maximize the value of the company's assets, bring multiple offers to the table, and successfully negotiate the best transaction possible.
How long does it take to sell a company?
Although the time it takes to sell a business varies from company to company, it usually takes from 6 to 12 months. We have seen deals close in a few months and others that take two years.
How do you locate buyers?
BDSA uses a three-pronged attack geared to ensure the strict confidentiality of our client. Initially, the name of the client is not given. The first component is creating a hot list of anywhere from 10 to 25 companies that merit a personal meeting based on their existing acquisition criteria. The second component is telephoning those companies where an acquisition such as your company should be considered. Sometimes this group merits a detailed analysis on why the acquisition makes sense which on the surface may not be obvious to the buyer. The third component is the mailing of a one-page profile to U.S. and non-U.S. companies and investment groups chosen for their past acquisition criteria, our analysis of the marketplace, and how the client's company can improve existing operations. It is not unusual to locate two or three of the eventual group of acquirers making offers for your company from each of the three types of efforts described above.
How can I be sure my confidential information is protected?
We adhere to a strict confidentiality policy. We never divulge the name of our client or provide information that would identify the company until a prospective buyer signs a rigid confidentiality agreement. Maintaining confidentiality is a vital part of the process. Confidential memorandums are numbered and the buyers are requested to return the document after review.
How will you value my company?
BDSA will analyze what price your company can command in the marketplace. We will calculate the business's real earnings which often are not the same as the earnings shown on the financial statements. The value of a company is affected by more than its operating performance for the last few years. The next year's earnings are critical as we sell companies based on a multiple of future profits.
Can I sell part of my business rather than all of it?
There are situations when a seller wants to retain an ownership position moving forward. Many buyers are open to buying a portion of a business rather than the entire company or create a structure where a former owner has the rights of ownership without the accompanying liabilities.
What can BDSA do for my company?
A BDSA professional is an experienced deal maker who knows how to successfully close transactions. The specialized experience of our team is vital in all stages of the selling process from maximizing the company's value, preparing the confidential memorandum, locating potential acquirers, negotiating the price and structure of the transaction to closing the deal. BDSA is involved from start to finish.
Will my business suffer during the selling process?
BDSA believes you should run your company while we sell it. This allows you to ensure that your business runs smoothly during the selling process. Once we have obtained sufficient information to write the confidential memorandum, owners typically do not become involved again until the buyer meetings begin. We work in the background to prevent your employees and competitors gaining knowledge of the sale and to prevent anxiety or low morale among your workforce. During this process we work diligently to make sure you are kept up-to-date on all developments.