Business owners and executives know their businesses; they're experts in their fields. But often they do not know the business of selling a business. If you are thinking about selling all or part of your business, if you are contemplating retirement, if you would like to create some liquidity by "taking a few chips off the table," or if you simply want to speak with knowledgeable professionals to discuss your options, we can help.

Sell-Side Advisory

We do our work by conducting negotiated transactions in an auction like environment. While competition is an important part of our process, we believe the best value for owners of lower middle market companies will be found through active communication with buyers. We recognize that a company's value proposition may often be different for different buyers. A negotiated transaction is the best method by which to obtain compelling valuations for lower middle market companies.

If your company has a compelling story that needs telling or if you would simply like to learn more about our unique approach, contact us.

Why should I retain an intermediary to sell my business?

Selling your business is probably the biggest transaction of your career. You should hire a capable intermediary for the following reasons:

  • Selling a business is a full time job. You already have a full time job: running your business. Let us handle our area of expertise (selling the business); you handle your area of expertise (running the business). We are registered with the Illinois Secretary of State under the Business Brokers Act of 1995.
  • Let us be a buffer between you and the buyer. Business sale negotiations are inevitably fraught with frustrations, ups and downs, disagreements, and misunderstandings. An investment banker can help insulate the business owner/executive from those inevitable bumps in the road. Remember, after the deal closes buyer and seller will have to work together. Even if you are retiring, your key managers likely will stay with your company. They will benefit from a good working relationship with the new owner. If the well is poisoned during the sale process, one side may decide they will be unable to work with the other side. If this happens, the deal will fall apart. An investment banker will be a buffer between buyer and seller, will help deflect and solve problems, and will have the foresight gained from experience to anticipate issues and proactively solve them.
  • Emotions. This is your life's work. You built this company. You took the chances. And as with many business owners, you are emotionally wrapped up in your company. A buyer is going to ask questions, poke and prod, and criticize your decisions and results. You need someone who is dispassionate and an arm's length from your business to handle the delicate process of selling that business.
  • Preparation. If you have not been through a sale process before, you will not know what to expect. If you do not know what to expect, you will not be prepared. And if you are unprepared for the next step, you run the risk of frustrating a buyer with delay after delay. Hiring an investment banker means you will be prepared, and if you are prepared you have a far better chance of successfully closing a deal you find acceptable.
  • Frame the discussion. Investment bankers have been through the sale process before. They will know what to expect and when to expect it. This experience allows them to frame the discussion instead of reacting to questions. An unprepared owner or executive who is trying to sell a business often will find himself in the position of awaiting orders from the other side. If this happens, the buyer will downplay the company's strengths and overplay its weaknesses. Passivity reduces a company's valuation and it ultimately reduces the odds of closing a deal. Let us lead the process and frame the discussion. Let us make sure you get a deal that make sense .. .for you.
  • Confidentiality. Because an investment banker is not an employee of your company, we are able to approach buyers without divulging the name of your company. This is particularly important for owners/executives who want to approach competitors. An investment banker can make sure the company's identity is not revealed until a confidentiality agreement is in place.
  • A proper release of information. An investment banker will know when to release information and when to say, "No, you don't need that yet." For example, your client list is probably among your most sensitive documents. Providing a would-be buyer with that list, especially if the would-be buyer is a competitor, could be a fatal mistake for a business. An investment banker will know when, and how, that information should be provided to a buyer.
  • Sounding board. Leading a business is a lonely business. You have already made enough decisions by yourself. When you're ready to sell your business don't work alone, hire a capable investment banker who will be able to offer you the expert advice of someone who has "been there, done that."