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The sale of a business can be emotional and full of unknowns.  Here is what past TKO Miller clients have to say about their experiences of hiring an investment bank and engaging in the sale process.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TKO MILLER?

"We got a great outcome and ended up with a perfect buyer." 

WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT INVESTMENT BANKERS BEFORE AND AFTER YOU ENGAGED ONE? 

The Company President is pleasantly surprised with the comprehensive representation of TKO Miller during the process, which included lots of advice as the transaction was completed.

This CEO is happy because the valuation of the company given at the pitch was what he received at the completion of the transaction.

This was the second time this CEO hired an investment bank.  He has learned that making sure you have the right team selling your business is more important than the name of the bank you hire.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO HIRE AN INVESTMENT BANKER?

It is important to have professional management in a transaction.  Investment bankers bring skills and knowledge that most buyers and business owners don't have.  

You sell a company once in a lifetime.  It is important to use an investment banker who has the background and resources to make sure you achieve your objectives.

CAN YOU FIND A BUYER THAT SATISFIES ALL YOUR OBJECTIVES?

At TKO Miller we listen to our client's objectives for a sale of their business.  These often start with getting the highest price, but after that, can vary greatly by seller.  A good sale process will match a seller with a buyer that satisfies all their desires for the transaction.

WHAT WAS THE WORST PART ABOUT SELLING YOUR BUSINESS?

#1 worst part - The selling process requires you to take time away from your business.

#2 worst part - You can only eat so many steak dinners. 

Selling requires management teams to relinquish some control over to the investment bankers.  This can be a challenge.

So.  Many.  Questions!

It can be really difficult to run your business and go through the sale process.

HOW DID YOU RESPOND TO THE "TAP ON THE SHOULDER?"

A "tap on the shoulder" is the phrase we use to describe when an owner gets an inquiry to buy their business out of the blue and not as part of a sale process.  These are generally not the best deals financially and if you decide to engage with that person or group, you give away a lot of the negotiating leverage because you don't have the threat of other buyers.  

John got a tap on the shoulder to buy his business.  He decided to include that group as part of a sale process instead of going forward with them as a single bidder. 

HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE DISCUSSION OF SELLING YOUR BUSINESS WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES?

How to tell your employees about a sale can cause some angst for business owners. 

These sellers waited until after the transaction was over.

"This is a tight-knit industry, everyone talks and we couldn't risk the news leaking.  But after we told them, we had a party."

This seller told select senior managers early on but waited to tell the other managers until closer to the end of the transaction.  

"Being vague with our managers was the most difficult part of the transaction."

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE AN ESOP WASN'T RIGHT FOR YOU?

ESOPs are generally not the best way to achieve maximum value for your business.  

This CEO looked into it and realized it wasn't right for his company.  "We were concerned about how long it would take to get the money out."

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE SELLING TO, AND THEN LIVING WITH, A PRIVATE EQUITY GROUP?

Private equity groups, or financial buyers, aren't looking to fire all the employees and reduce costs.  In the vast majority of cases, they want to help businesses grow.

Once a private equity group buys your business, get ready to focus on growth.  There may also be a surprising amount of budgeting and forecasting - especially if your company hadn't done much of this prior to the acquisition.  For Phoenix Products Company, the transition was relatively easy.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FEES THAT YOU PAID TO TKO MILLER?

"They were exactly what you said they would be and they were fair."