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Merger & Acquisitions First Steps

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M&A Transactions: Structuring Equity Investments

In the minds of most people, especially M&A novices, an investment comes in the form of equity — an investor buying stock in the company. This kind of investment makes the most sense when the company has [more…]

M&A Transactions: Sell a Piece of the Company

Business owners don’t need to sell the whole business and then retire or move on to other pursuits. A substantial amount of M&A work is done with sellers who just want to sell a part of the company. There [more…]

M&A Smooth Selling: Clean Up the Balance Sheet

One of the biggest obstacles to getting a deal done on a merger or acquisition is a messy balance sheet. Now, don’t freak out about the accounting. Accounting is your friend. [more…]

M&A Smooth Selling: Pay Off Debt

One of the hurdles to getting an M&A deal done is long-term debt. Many Sellers either “conveniently” forget about the debt or hope/assume that Buyer will simply assume the debt no questions asked. Here’s [more…]

M&A Smooth Selling: Address Legal Issues

If you want to ensure a smooth M&A process, settle any outstanding lawsuits, to the extent possible, before putting your business on the market. Even if you don’t have legal liabilities, you may want to [more…]

Mergers and Acquisitions: Prep before You Buy

A company thinking about making acquisitions just doesn’t wake up one day and close a deal. Successfully undertaking M&A activity takes some planning and preparation. [more…]

Include Companies in Your Vertical on Your M&A Target List

Your vertical is the supply chain for your industry. That’s it. If you do an M&A deal with an entity above or below you on that chain, you’re integrating vertically. [more…]

M&A: Business Brokers and Investment Bankers

Intermediaries for M&A deals come in two flavors: investment bankers and business brokers. An investment banker likely provides a fuller service for a Seller, but that fuller service usually means higher [more…]

What is an M&A Target List?

Before you can have a conversation about selling your company or acquiring someone else’s company in an M&A deal, you need to have someone to speak to! It’s one of those crazy things about mergers and [more…]

M&A Buyer: How to Create Target Lists

For Buyers in M&A deals, the job of creating a target list of businesses you want to buy begins by defining the “whats” of the target: [more…]

How to Expand and Winnow M&A Target Lists

Because contacting every company in this world and beyond for your M&A deal doesn’t make much sense, you need to make sure you have the right type and number of targets on your list. [more…]

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…]

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…]


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