A confidential meeting and open discussion with the business owner and/or management team. We talk about the business, the opportunity and what they’re aiming to achieve. We both have a chance to gauge whether we’re a good fit.
If the opportunity seems right, then we’ll start doing our homework. We’ll engage in research and conclude whether our client is the right business partner for the business and the situation.
If the management team is going to be part of a broader ownership team, then we like to meet them as well. It’s important to determine whether we are mutually interested in working together, that we get on, and that we have key values and aspirations in common.
This is the point where we discuss various ways in which value can be set and the sale and purchase structured tp all parties mutual benefit. By this stage there’s a collective interest in going ahead with a sale, so there’s a common desire to accommodate each other's preferences.
After completing these steps (which can happen in as little as a week or two), we can mutually agree on the sale structure, or simply move on. The beauty of our process is that there is no consequence if there is no investment. Neither we nor our clients are competitors of the company, and we will keep anything we have learned entirely confidential. If we shake hands on a mutually acceptable deal, we’ll move towards documentation and due diligence. The timeframe for this varies hugely depending on how readily available company information is. It can take from two weeks to two months.
Up until now, we’ve assumed that the picture that’s been painted of the business reflects the reality. The due diligence process gives us assurance this is the case and that we can proceed with confidence. We won’t undertake due diligence until all other matters are agreed.
The full and final terms of the deal are documented and checked. The Sale and Purchase and Shareholders’ agreements are signed, and we have a deal. Then, it’s on to celebrating new beginnings!