Meritus advises clients from the early planning stage through the closing of a sale, merger, or acquisition. Whether your goal is to sell your company to a third party or to buy a firm as part of your growth plan, Meritus will develop and execute a comprehensive strategy customized to meet your objectives.
Your merger or acquisition is a vital next step in your business and you need a partner that will engage with you in a value building process with a real-world view. We know how important your business evolution is to you. It's more than just another M&A transaction, it's a dynamic shift in how you do business, and we're there to make it happen for you.
Meritus Capital’s sell side services are based on maximizing the value of your company while preserving the confidentiality and integrity of the sale process.
Our approach is to do the upfront research to identify the most logical buyers and develop a customized marketing plan for each prospect. We do not use a standard pitch book for sell-side engagements. While there are some documents that every serious prospective buyers would need (for example, current historical and projected P&L statements and balance sheets, EBITDA adjustments, details of operating expenses, client concentration analysis, client retention analysis, organization chart), prospective buyers vary tremendously in what they wish to see. Our approach to providing information to prospective buyers is to do this in stages rather than assuming or guessing what is required and presenting it all upfront. We use a stage gate approach, releasing appropriate information at each stage of the discussion.
Our customized approach avoids the appearance of shopping your deal around like a standard pitch might and minimizes the unnecessary complication of raising issues that may not concern the buyer. This approach also helps maintain your confidentiality by only providing sensitive information after the buyer has been fully vetted as a sincere and qualified interest. Finally, we save you time from assembling possibly irrelevant information and attending meetings with the crowds of curious idlers.
This is where we shine
- Setting financial and non-financial goals and objectives with sellers;
- Preparing descriptive memorandum;
- Developing profiles of the most logical buyers
- Offering solicitation and qualification;
- Providing strategic, financial and operational fitness assessment;
- Selecting the right buyer;
- Facilitating transaction structure and negotiation;
- Performing due diligence; and
- Closing the deal
Things to consider before selling
The following information offers some pragmatic considerations that you should address before putting your privately-held company up for sale.
Consider if you want to work for a new boss
In most cases, owners cannot just walk away after a sale as the new owner would expect the owner to help transition employees and customers. Owner entrepreneurs need to mentally prepare for the reality of working for a new boss during the transition period that could last months or even years.
If other shareholders are involved, engage them in discussions before putting the company on the market.
Obvious as it might seem, make sure that a majority of the ownership is behind the sale, and agree beforehand on a valuation range. Delicate as these discussions might be, they are better held before the business is offered for sale.
Prepare accurate financial statements
Financial statements of privately-held companies are typically prepared with a view towards minimizing taxes rather than maximizing earnings. Also, buried in the financial statements are owner perks. Both of these issues must be addressed and a set of credible financial statements that accurately reflect the condition and performance of the business may have to be prepared.
Develop a post-sale organization plan
If the owner-manager is departing after the sale, the buyer is likely to want a strong management team put in place to effectively run the business after the owner leaves. Owners need to identify the new management team and empower it, to demonstrate that the new team is capable of running the show.
Know your competition
An owner should be able to answer the following questions: Who are your competitors? What sets you apart from the competition? What is your market share and is it increasing or decreasing? Why?
Know your market
An owner needs to be able to answer the question: Why should someone invest in a company in this region? What is the outlook for the industry in the region?
Identify Company Strengths and Weaknesses
A thorough analysis of your company’s financial condition, sales and profitability trends, capital requirements, working capital and financing needs compared to industry peers, can help determine what is a reasonable asking price. Identifying weak spots allows you to determine what steps to take to improve and maximize value prior to putting the company up for sale.
Meritus assists clients with a range of services throughout the mergers and acquisition process from initial planning through closing. We can satisfy relatively narrow objectives, such as advising on a planned acquisition or leading a one-time acquisition initiative. However, we provide the greatest value when developing and executing a comprehensive merger and acquisition strategy customized to meet your goals and objectives.
Meritus Capital’s buy side services extend far beyond the typical “buyer representation.” Our thorough approach includes:
- Goals: Assist owners and managers in defining the financial and non-financial objectives of the transaction;
- Identification of Acquisition Targets: using our proprietary database and research;
- Initial Contact and Solicitation;
- Preliminary Assessment of Acquisition Targets;
- Financial and Operational Assessment;
- Transaction Structuring;
- Due Diligence;
- Deal Agreement Review; and
- Integration Management.