Do I need an M&A consultant for the company sale?

May 9, 2019

8 good reasons why expert support pays off

Selling one’s own company is certainly never an easy decision – nor is it an easy task. This not only applies to finding a suitable buyer, but also to the preparation of all necessary facts and figures, right up to conducting negotiations. There are many good reasons for getting an experienced M&A consultant on board as an expert and supporter for the many and multifaceted steps of a company sale.

1. An M&A consultant offers competent help in the preparation of the sale

Once the decision to sell a company has been made, there is already a lot of work to be done before the first sales talks: operational and financial figures have to be compiled, as well as customer lists, employee and department information, current contracts and numerous other documents that a subsequent buyer needs to check. Even here, an M&A consultant can support the seller with precise knowledge of everything necessary and how to produce it. This saves work and time – in the best case so that the entrepreneur can continue to focus on his operational business.

2. An M&A consultant knows the actual value of the company

The value of any company is made up of a large number of key figures, which must be calculated precisely in order to achieve a realistic offer. An M&A consultant with industry experience is not only experienced in this, but also knows about other decisive factors: special market position, historical development – and above all the strategic advantage for potential buyers. This provides sellers with profitable advantages. In addition, an accurate expert assessment provides clarity for the seller, which prevents disappointment and frustration caused by a possibly overestimated company value in later negotiations.

3. An M&A advisor finds suitable buyers in Matchmaker function

An M&A consultant acts as a valuable matchmaker right from the start: Because he knows about the interests and strategic objectives of numerous companies willing to buy and can quickly identify a possible strategic fit. He owes this knowledge to his network of contacts – including investors willing to buy who discuss their plans with independent M&A advisors or even commission them with the search. Only rarely do companies willing to invest turn to potential sellers themselves, among other things in order not to make their strategies and plans too public.

4. An M&A advisor masters how to prepare figures and information

Whether the first sales teaser to potential buyers or a comprehensive exposé to interested buyers: an M&A consultant knows exactly which core values should be included – and how they can successfully create the decisive buying stimulus. This knowledge then pays off in initial discussions and negotiations, for which the experienced M&A consultant can prepare facts and figures as attractively as possible and as clearly as necessary. Buyers always subject the object of purchase to an economic, tax and legal review, the official due diligence. Familiar with this process, the M&A advisor can efficiently prepare everything necessary and hand it over in the correct form. This can accelerate the sales process enormously.

5. An M&A consultant brings in the objective evaluation from the outside

Managing a company means investing a great deal of one’s own effort and passion as well as building close relationships with employees and partners. It goes without saying that the view of one’s own company cannot always remain purely objective. The M&A consultant brings in this unbiased perspective from the outside: This enables him to assess values more precisely and identify any optimisation potential that may be necessary. He can also make realistic assessments of the preservation of jobs and non-economic company values – an important aid for entrepreneurs to be able to keep their word with employees and partners later on.

6. An M&A consultant provides expert support during negotiations

In sales negotiations for a company, not only the seller and the buyer sit opposite each other, of course. Much more than meet whole rounds from economic, tax and legal experts. An M&A consultant knows all these different perspectives and demands on the buyer. In this way he can prepare everything necessary for negotiations for each expert and at the same time speak “his language”. This helps to make the discussions efficient and time-saving – and to successfully protect the interests of the entrepreneur under the numerous aspects.

7. An M&A consultant is a communicative companion and mediator

Every contract negotiation can drag on unintentionally and become tough for both sides. Because an M&A advisor always has the interests of both parties in mind, he can ensure that the talks are held as effectively as possible for everyone. He also acts as an objective mediator when negotiations come to a halt and helps to find unifying solutions and satisfactory compromises. If the company is sold, the entrepreneur often feels that his own life’s work is “under the hammer”. The pointing out of deficiencies or critical value reductions on the part of the buyer often cause highly emotional frustration. An M&A advisor helps to keep a cool head in conversations and can mediate communicatively, if the minds heat up nevertheless.

8. An M&A consultant brings negotiations safely to their goal

An experienced M&A advisor not only has comprehensive industry and market knowledge. He often also knows better than the selling entrepreneur how valuable his company is for the buyer’s plans – and whether he might even offer the only really interesting object. This knowledge helps the seller not to sell below the realizable value. In addition, an experienced M&A strategist is also a reliable negotiation professional: He has gained experience in asserting important interests even in difficult sales negotiations. The fact that even subjective time and financial pressure do not burden him allows him to pursue a more consistent negotiation strategy than the entrepreneur could possibly pursue in that situation.