With M&A heating up - trust the process and choose a sell side broker

With M&A heating up - trust the process and choose a sell side broker

With better times ahead, more business brokers will enter the M&A arena. Some have industry experience, some do not. Count on one thing for sure - If a broker is working both sides of the table, as a seller, you will feel extremely uncomfortable.

As a seller, you deserve representation from a business broker who is looking out for your interests exclusively, not just working hard to make a deal happen, regardless of how it impacts you - in what is often the most important transaction of your business career, if not your life.

“Extremely uncomfortable”

Here is a practical example. Have you ever sold a house with a real estate agent who is representing both the buyer and the seller? These pocket listings happen all the time and the broker is expected to represent both parties. A friend of mine experienced that recently when selling his house and expressed how he felt about the deal as it progressed.

“First, I was thrilled, because the broker brought me a qualified buyer – her client, who wanted the house. I really felt like the broker was on my side. After the home inspection, the buyer asked for almost $20,000 in credits for various home repairs. We were involved in negotiations over that amount and I couldn’t help but feel that the broker – who was going to enjoy a full 5% commission, was focused on one thing – not losing the deal, even if that was going to cost me more than I wanted to pay. The trust factor was gone. It was extremely uncomfortable.”

Lack of trust

As a convenience services operator who has worked hard to build a business, often for decades, there is no reason to feel that deep discomfort that comes from a lack of trust. Is your broker favoring the buyer or the seller? That’s hard to say, but you’ll be asking that question long after the deal is finalized.

VBB Advisors – A sell side broker

You deserve better. The choice is simple. Work exclusively with an experienced sell side broker. At VBB Advisors, we cringe at what two sided brokers like to say – “There has to be some pain from both sides in order to make a deal.” That is nonsense. As a seller, you should be feeling comfortable and confident that you received the best deal possible – a deal that was reached by putting our proven process to work.

Valuation is more than a “hunch”

I cannot stress enough the importance of proper business valuation. The selling price of your company isn’t something that should be written on a cocktail napkin and passed across the table. At VBB Advisors, we use two sets of powerful financial software to prepare your business valuation. This high caliber software is used by private equity firms to generate valuation based on cash flow, assets and market multiples. Only then, after running your numbers through our software, do we use industry data on deals made in the past 24 months. Valuation isn’t determined by a hunch. It is determined by a professional and proven process.

Look beyond the “obvious buyer”

While it is tempting for a business broker to deliver the “obvious buyer” for your business, it is important to understand that the obvious buyer is often not the “optimal buyer.” VBB Advisors has a process that will confidentially market your company to numerous possible buyers, including operators, private equity firms, entrepreneurs outside the industry – even bottling companies. Competition is a good thing, and it will translate to a higher selling price and getting the terms and conditions of a deal that are in line with your wishes.

Details – you need an advocate

When it comes down to the details – real estate, protecting key employees and a long checklist of key terms and conditions – VBB Advisors will be there working for you, working only on your side of the table, to get you the deal that will leave you feeling comfortable and confident. Do you deserve anything less than that?

Our Philosophy at VBB Advisors

“No matter what is going on with the economy or the world, it is time to sell your business if you are ready and we can make the right deal, a deal that makes sense for you, your family and your company.”

My philosophy is driven by the fact that I do not represent buyers. I represent sellers. Operators just like you. Please consider what that means for you. I am not interested in just making a deal. I will not be jockeying from one side of the table to the other. As the seller – you know what you need to receive in order to move on, to retire, to go in a different direction – comfortably and confidently.

Buyers come to me because they know that I serve sellers who have thoroughly and thoughtfully considered their exit strategy with my help. That is the type of seller that you want to be – a seller who has their ducks in order, has taken steps to make their business as attractive as possible and a seller who values their employees enough to make a deal that everyone will feel good about.

Take that critical first step. That is often the toughest one to take.

Order my free 2022 Exit Strategy Planner. At the very least, it will provoke some thought, and this is a good time to think about your future.

Why make VBB Advisors a part of your team?

There are at least three very good reasons to talk to me about being a part of your team for this important chapter of your business journey.

  1. Experience – I have done more significant deals than any other business broker in our industry.

  2. Access to buyers – Throughout the pandemic, I have been in ongoing discussions with potential buyers, from both inside and outside the industry.

  3. We are a sell side broker – We only represent the seller. Everything we do is on behalf of the seller.

Whatever your reasons are to sell your company - the timing, a sense of frustration, the desire to enjoy life or an interest in rewarding yourself for years of hard work – VBB Advisors can help you realize your goals.

I am Mike Kelner, the leading sell side intermediary in the convenience services industry. Contact me for a confidential conversation and to explore the possibilities.

Recent Posts

See All

For operators, 2022 was a mixed bag, characterized by slow progress for much of the year. In this Q&A interview with Bob Tullio, to be published next week in Vending Market Watch, we explored some goo