Your Questions

Executives often ask the same questions, look here for some answers.

You have to be careful about your convictions and  preconceptions.


Is it the right time to sell ?

There are three major factors when trying to answer the question of timing—Business Fundamentals, Market Conditions, and Product Lifecycle.
More details in our blog

Why working with an advisor ?

Dealing with an advisor frees you from tasks such as groundwork and transaction running. It allows you to stay focused on your business. Your advirsor runs the negotiations for you. You maximize the chances of success of the transaction by handing it over to a seasoned specialist who can guarantee the quality of the process and the best methods.

How much does an advisor cost?

The intervention is always twofold.
-A part dedicated to groundwork and analysis of the files, which leads to a steady billing (the retainer).
-Another part spent looking for partners, running the process, and helping with the negotiation and the writing of the protocols. This part leads to a billing that usually consists in a success fee.
The sellers agree on the fact that the gained time, the loss of focus spared to the CEO and the benefits of a transaction process are worth many times the cost of the advisor.

How long does it take to buy or sell a company?

The process takes at least six months and in average nine months to full completion. But it can often take more than a year, even if some contacts had already been set with the potential buyers. Deals closed in less than six months remain exceptional. When the process does not succeed at the first try, resuming the process after a latent phase is possible, thus making it last a few more months and allowing the company to ensure its position regarding the potential buyers.

How to choose the right advisor ?

You should choose an advisor close to you, whose DNA is similar to yours, through his experience and appraisal. He knows your industry, has for a specialty the transaction of small and medium sized companies, and has the necessary network in the relevant geographic areas. Pick someone you trust and you who you will enjoy working with.

A buyer has approached me. Should I negotiate with him ?

Almost 80% of the companies that start a transaction process have already been approached by a potential buyer. Negotiating with a single buyer is immediately depriving yourself from the opportunitiy that offers a transaction process opened to multiple potential buyers, hence creating an auction room ecosystem. Moreover, it is risking leaving money on the table.

I rate the potential buyers of my company to roughly ten within the territory. Why should I go abroad?

Narrowing down the list of your potential buyers is limiting your access to the market. The list is international and includes not only the most obvious buyers but also the ones in nearby sectors, willing to open up to complementary markets, and the “financiers” who want to reinforce the companies of their portfolio.

I have been negotiating for a long time and it does not seem to go anywhere.

All the buyers have their own process of acquisition. It is strict and follows a clear pattern. It is not a single person who makes all the decisions, but an internal team that sets up a file according to a precise strategy, an identified calendar and a strict decision-making process. Not talking to the right person is risking not to be involved this decision making process and wasting your time.


This buyer is showing interest in my company. He should quickly make an offer…

Just like you qualify a client, the potential buyer have to be qualified according to their real and admitted interest in the type of represented company, the ability to pursue an acquisition, to finance it, to join a new team… Not to qualify a buyer is risking letting out information to complete loss without getting an offer.

I would rather wait, because the economic situation does not seem to be in favour of my company.

Testing the market has very few negative effects for the company. It seems better to start a dialogue with potentially interested buyers as soon as possible instead of risking entering the market in an even less favourable economic situation.

I will sell, but for at least…

The valuation of a company depends on the market; claiming for an unrealistic value (in comparison with the most used methods – multiples, EV/sales, DCF… ) – puts in jeopardy its credibility and the reality of a possible transaction. However, when facing a too low offer, standing for its value on the basis of a solid ratio allows appreciating it at its right value.

The buyer has to hear me out! …

The dialogue with the buyer reveals crucial information in order to support the position we want during the negotiation. Listening and paying attention to details are more than necessary.

My temper is often stronger than me! …

Knowing the minimum threshold under which the transaction is no longer possible and delegating the dialogue about critical issues are a way to reinforce the future and the integration.

I will negotiate at this moment!

A negotiation is not a precise moment but a moving process depending on information, strategy and the market ecosystem. It can take up to several months.

Price is all that matters! …

The price of a transaction depends on the used paying method. Cash, shares, earn-out, retention payment, buyer credit…are that many tools to make the price better and even the risk between seller and buyer. The structure of a transaction has for an aim to maximize its value.

The due diligence is for later…we are not there yet!

Nothing good ever happens during the due diligence. Preparing ahead this phase allows making the transaction process faster in order to anticipate the last minute questions.

I will contact the buyers myself!

A transaction process generates at least 500 to 1500 interactions between the seller and the potential buyers (emails , calls and conference calls, meetings, mileage, visits…). Managing these interactions is one of the keys to success and the guarantee to filter all the opportunities in order to identify the best ones.

In less than six months, we will have closed the deal!

We know for a fact that a transaction process can last sometimes from nine to fifteen months, which lets both parts some time to validate the project and to make financial assumptions.

Let’s not talk about it right away…

The discovery by the buyer of a problem hidden by the seller risks to strongly lower the value of the deal or even worse, become a deal breaker. It is important to anticipate and to rate the disclosure of critical information a soon as possible in the process, with the qualified buyers.

I will take care of the selling process, as it is the top priority.

The real priority is for the seller to accomplish the three-years hypothesis he has planned. Not focusing on managing the company is risking an operational failure.

They are only interested in the technology!

The potential buyers are not frequently interested in only one aspect of a company. They are paying attention to its dynamics and to its sensed valuation in a complex environment. Setting its company in a bigger picture is selling the whole of its merits.