Small Business Mergers & Acquisitions

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How Many Companies to Include on Your M&A Target List

It takes only one. That’s the phrase of the day. It takes only one Buyer or Seller to close your M&A deal. That said, you need to consider the odds of successfully closing a deal when your target list [more…]

Should You Include Competitors on Your M&A Target List?

The competitor issue is a tricky one in creating M&A target lists. Companies are wary of divulging proprietary information to competitors for fear that a competitor will use the information against them [more…]

The EBITDA Thesis in an M&A Offering Document

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) is probably the most common investment thesis used in the M&A offering document. Actually, EBITDA is a de facto default setting [more…]

M&A Sellers: How to Contact Potential Buyers for Your Business

Here’s the skinny on M&A deals: Some companies are sitting by their phones like a high-school girl waiting for an erstwhile date to call, hoping to hear from a company that’s looking to sell. [more…]

M&A Sellers: How to Phone a Private Equity Firm

Speaking with the right person seems like a basic tenet of making an M&A sales call, but you’d be surprised how many people simply (and often nervously) plow through their script to whoever first picks [more…]

M&A Sellers: Get to the Point in Your First Target Call

M&A involves a generally accepted process that Buyer and Seller follow step by step. But that doesn’t mean the process rockets in a straight path from start to finish. In reality, it can meander to and [more…]

M&A Sellers: How to Call Strategic Buyers

Finding the right person to receive an M&A proposal at a strategic firm can be a bit trickier than finding the right person at a private equity (PE) firm. After you find that person, your pitch is straightforward [more…]

M&A Sellers: Scripting Your Initial Call to Prospective Targets

When you get the right person for your M&A deal on the phone, you need to be prepared. You should have a script in front of you. It quickly covers the basics: what the company does, its clients, the revenues [more…]

How to Contact Potential Sellers for an M&A Deal

Contacting Sellers for an M&A deal is easy. You pick up the phone and call. What’s tricky is having a meaningful conversation with a Seller.

When contacting a Seller, you want to speak with the owner, not [more…]

M&A Buyers: How to Start a Target Call to a Potential Seller

If you immediately come out and say, “We want to buy your firm,” when contacting a potential M&A Seller, your approach is no different than the myriad other Buyers who have approached this owner. [more…]

M&A Buyers: A Basic Script for Initial Calls to Prospective Targets

The following is a basic script that works well in making M&A acquisition search calls. As with the script for selling a business, you should not read this text verbatim. Instead, it sets up the flow of [more…]

What to Do During a Serious M&A Sales Conversation

If you segue into a conversation about doing an M&A deal, start asking questions! Ask about the business: what it does, its history, the revenues, the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and [more…]

How to Recognize the Screener When Making Target M&A Calls

Screeners. It can be the name of your own personal horror when calling a potential M&A Buyer or Seller for an M&A deal. Screeners are the people who get in the way of you and your intended target. [more…]

M&A Target Calling: How to Overcome Screener Roadblocks

Getting past screeners to propose an M&A deal to someone in charge is akin to fencing. You need to master verbal thrust-and-parry in order to improve your odds of getting past a roadblock. [more…]

M&A Target Calling: How to Track Your Calls

Like any good salesperson, you want to keep track of your M&A calls. A customer relationship management(CRM) system (a program that keeps track of contact info) coupled with a spreadsheet makes a good [more…]

M&A Targeting: Tempt Buyers with an Anonymous Teaser

A teaser is an aptly named document: Its intent is to give an M&A Buyer just enough information (the product, the customers, the problem the company solves, and some high-level financials) to make him [more…]

M&A Targeting: Tips for a Good Teaser

A well-written teaser is important in the M&A process. It keeps the Buyer’s interest and can facilitate continuing the steps to a final deal. Here are some tips for writing a good teaser: [more…]

How to Execute an M&A Confidentiality Agreement

If a Buyer is interested in seeing more about the proposed M&A deal after reading the teaser, the Seller should execute a confidentiality agreement with the Buyer. [more…]

How to Handle a Breach of an M&A Confidentiality Agreement

Breaching the confidentiality agreement means one party in the M&A deal has not followed the conditions of the agreement, therefore violating the agreement. Breaches are serious occurrences and should [more…]

M&A Confidentiality Advice for Buyers

A confidentiality agreement (CA) for an M&A deal is a serious and real legal document, and a Buyer who signs a CA should take every precaution to speak only with those who need to know about the business [more…]

What is an M&A Deal Book?

The offering document for an M&A deal is the deal book, the almanac of fact, the atlas of numbers. The offering document is the bible of the company. As with any written document, it becomes dogma. In [more…]

How to Compile the Executive Summary in an M&A Offering Document

Your M&A offering document should begin with an executive summary that follows the same rhythm as your high school English papers: Start big, narrow your focus, introduce the thesis, prove the thesis, [more…]

How to Prepare Buyers for M&A Management Meetings

As Buyer, you should prepare for management meetings by reading the M&A offering document, reviewing the financials and Seller’s website, and conducting research about Seller [more…]

M&A Offering Document: The Contribution Margin Thesis

With the contribution margin thesis in an M&A offering document, Seller is essentially telling Buyer, “Pay no attention to the lack of profits behind that curtain.” Instead of focusing on the bottom-line [more…]

Thesis Options for an M&A Offering Document

Your offering document for proposing an M&A deal needs to have a thesis: an argument of the Buyer’s opportunity should he choose to complete the deal. Here are four options you could use for your thesis [more…]

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