Monday, April 10, 2006

Industry Specialization Can be Important

The final issue I would like to discuss, I would not call an official red flag, but maybe a "nice to have." Have you sold any companies in my industry? Sometimes, your business is unique and there has not been much M&A activity and you will have to weigh other factors more heavily. The advantages in using business broker or merger and acquisition firm that has industry experience are that it both speeds up the sale process and it increases the likelihood of a completed transaction. An M&A firm that has your industry experience will already have their database of potential buyers established. They know the right contact person and these prospects know them and actually take their calls. This alone can reduce the sales cycle by as much as 90 days. Another big advantage of industry experience is your advisor will understand valuation multiples and deal structures unique to your industry. That can be invaluable when the buyer is attempting to grind down your selling price. Industry credibility is very important when your advisor gets the CEO of a targeted buyer on the phone and has exactly 30 seconds to establish buyer interest. It really helps if you speak his language. Our clients in information technology and healthcare have found industry specialization to be of significant value.

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