Over the many years I have been advising business owners, I have often observed how challenging the whole area of corporate transactions can be. The finance team in the smaller business is very unlikely to have had any real world experience in this area, and can only advise on the theory.
Many advisers in the corporate finance marketplace are only involved for a short time – it’s another skill set to add to their CV. The experienced advisors in the larger firms often take the initial meeting, but then hand off the actual work to the junior team, helping them gain the experience they need. That’s great for them, but not so good for your business or for you.
You may only get one go at this – so it needs to be right.
For smaller businesses advice is in very short supply. There are a number of business “Estate Agents” who provide listings of business for sale – either in print or on-line, or both – but advice for the business owner thinking of buying or selling is not part of their package.
The accountants who are the most trusted advisors for many business owners may have a partner who specialises in corporate finance, but many do not. It’s another service they may offer, but the in depth experience is in short supply.
The general understanding of transactions is not helped by the news coverage, where the press are only interested in disaster stories and the transactions that go wrong.
The mass market entertainment programs that masquerade as business programs paint the investor as all knowing and quite terrifying. That’s not really true – of course they have massive experience, but outside the TV studio they are not the demons they pretend to be. Most business investors know that they cannot succeed without the team, and need the teams to be motivated, focussed and on their side. It’s not a truly adversarial process.
Corporate transactions – deals – are a complex area, filled with jargon and people who love to use buzzwords and acronyms. This book will cut through much of the clutter and help you do the best possible deal.