Planning or just contemplating a business sale is a technical and quite often emotional process which tests most business owners who embark upon it. The intensity and all-consuming nature of the exercise is often underestimated. It is therefore advisable to have an experienced company like Leith Mergers and Acquisitions on board to help guide you through the process and ensure you realise your investment. You need to be confident that the partner you choose to work with is the right one for you.
How do you value a business?
Our aim is to provide an accurate guideline as to your business’s value based on market trends and recent deal intelligence.
Valuation is often subjective and not a science. There are many ways to value a company. It could be based on the revenue of the business; it could be the value of assets or a multiple of the company’s earnings. Perhaps you might value your company not based upon its financials, but instead focus on potential strategic value to an interested buyer.
Whether you are thinking about selling your company or perhaps you have been approached by a potential buyer, the first step is for us to have a conversation with you.
How to find buyers?
We are proactive, tenacious and commercially knowledgeable which means we understand your market and how to approach potential buyers successfully. Our process is research led – using market-leading business databases we match your company’s profile to appropriate potential buyers. We also have access to the latest M&A transaction databases and private equity databases which allow us to access an alternative range of non-trade buyers.
Once we have honed the list of possible buyers our clients have the final say over who we approach and when. Once approved, we approach senior decision makers of these companies discreetly only divulging sensitive information with our client’s agreement and a non-disclosure agreement in place.
How does the sales process work?
There are a number of steps involved in the process and Leith’s role is to support you throughout. Firstly we need to identify possible buyers for your company through our detailed research process and then to support you through the due diligence and negotiation stage through to completing the transaction. We are not “brokers” in the sense of simply an introduction agency putting two parties together and leaving them to it. We offer a more thorough, knowledgeable and hands-on service.
Our team support the entire transaction; from the preparation of sales literature, to creation of tailored research and subsequent approach to prospective purchasers through to chairing meetings, negotiating the transaction, supporting the due diligence process and handling all contract negotiations. Essentially, we are the conduit through which all negotiation and communication flows between seller, buyer, lawyers and accountants. We are there alongside our clients from the first meeting to the completion meeting.
Our key priority is to ensure that you are receiving the best possible advice and support whilst maintaining positive relationships between all parties.
The sales process
Development of sales documents, market intelligence and research
Identification of prospects and confidential approaches
Encouragement of offers and deal negotiations
Deal management, due diligence and contractual support
Do I need a lawyer to deal with the transaction?
Each party involved will require legal representation experienced in commercial law. Whether you have a preferred law firm or need reputable recommendations we can help. The legal team will work closely with Leith in navigating the due diligence process through to negotiating and agreeing the terms of the contract.
Where required we have preferred legal teams that we work with regularly – because they have faith in the way we work and our involvement in the process we are able to keep these costs to a minimum.
Common questions about selling your company
Please get in touch directly if you’ve got more questions and we’ll do our best to answer.
I’m worried about confidentiality; I don’t want my staff or customers to find out we’re for sale. How can we keep it under wraps?
We absolutely understand that confidentiality is a huge concern for any company owner contemplating selling their company. In order to protect your company’s identity throughout the sale process we only communicate sensitive information to potential buyers once you have personally authorised for this to happen. Initially we produce a confidential teaser, which would be signed off by yourselves, the purpose of which is to present the opportunity but crucially protecting your identity at this early stage.
Full sales information, again approved by yourself, will only be released once you have agreed this and only after a non-disclosure agreement has been signed. We then work hard to contain the process so that leakage is a minimal risk.
Who will be handling the sale for me?
Leith are different to many advisors in this regard. The sale process in terms of buyer/client meetings and all negotiations are handled personally by our MD. The research team work incredibly tenaciously behind the scenes to produce meaningful results and keep you up to date on progress. We purposefully put restrictions on the number of clients we handle so we can maintain the intense and bespoke service we provide for all our clients.
How do you find buyers?
Our process is research led, meaning we identify your buyers and take the opportunity to them. Using a market leading global company databases we can access the records of 99% of private companies. We also have access to the latest M&A transaction databases and a market leading private equity database. We also have access to international market leading M&A portals where each of our opportunities are posted. We utilise these assets to create a list of tailored buyers for each project based on recent acquisitions, company profiling and private equity portfolios. Our clients have the final say over who we approach and when. Once the list is approved we will contact the senior decision makers to present the opportunity. There is nothing passive or reactive about how we operate.
How does the sale process work?
Our role is twofold, firstly to identify the market through research and then to support and execute the transaction. We are not brokers in the sense of putting two parties together and letting them get on with it. We support the entire transaction from the preparation of sales literature, to research and identification of prospective purchasers, chairing meetings, negotiating the transaction, supporting the due diligence process and handling all contract negotiations in conjunction with your chosen legal and accounting professionals. Essentially we are the conduit through which everything flows and everything is held together. We are there alongside our clients from the first meeting to the completion meeting.
Can you recommend lawyers to deal with the transaction?
We have preferred teams that we work with regularly. Because they have faith in the way we work and our involvement in the process we are able to keep these costs to a minimum.
Will you keep me updated?
This is crucial to any process. We are fully transparent in our work throughout the process. All our clients have access to live documents and platforms throughout the research process and our Microsoft Dynamics CRM system has been fully tailored to our process to ensure that we are able to report on every stage of the process.
Will you attend the meetings?
Yes, we essentially become a member of your team and we are always on hand to support and guide you through the process.
How long will it take?
It can vary dramatically from a few months to over twelve months. The key is not rushing the process but rather ensuring that it is managed carefully and as thoroughly as possible as this will lead to us achieving the optimum deal value for you.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS & PARTNERS SAY
“Leith Mergers & Acquisitions provided us with invaluable assistance during our purchase of Universal Supplies. What had initially looked like a simple purchase turned out to be a complex operation with David performing as a conduit through which all interested parties could maintain a line of communication.
I personally liked David’s straightforward manner and willingness to just get the job done!”
“A special thank you to David & his team at Leith M&A for their effort, advice, opinions & guidance during all the stages of negotiations”
Stuart Raphael & Kashif Bashir
Directors and Shareholders of Gutters & Ladders (1968) Limited (sold to SIG PLC)
We are so grateful that you were there to guide us through with this sale and we are quite certain it wouldn’t have happened without Leith M&A”.
Shareholder of Agropharm Limited (sold to Pelgar International Limited)
“I worked with David on an acquisition where he was the sell side adviser. David performed admirably and served his client well. His attention and focus on the major issues at hand helped to drive the parties to closure. I recommend David and team at Leith highly.”
Vice President, Business Development at OSI Systems INC. (acquirer of Union Four Electronics Limited)
“Leith M&A acted for my company (NPL) when it was bought by a larger competitor (4 Print Limited) - they worked in a very diligent manner and were very thorough in the process and details of mergers and acquisitions. I'd highly recommend them to act for others in this area.”
Production at 4 Print Limited
If you would like to talk to us, please give us a call.
If you decide you are ready to market your company and believe our approach is the right one for you we then we would love to hear from you.
Call us on
01306 646 890
to discuss any aspect of the process in confidence
Leith Mergers and Acquisitions is a family-run business based in Dorking, Surrey. We work with only a handful of clients at any given time, allowing us to provide a personal, proactive and intensive service. We pride ourselves on our ability to deeply understand your needs and motivations in order to secure the future you are aiming for.
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