Planning your exit strategy

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Kevin Uphill reflects on the roundtable discussion on exit strategy and explains how Avondale can help if you’re looking to increase the value of your business for sale

KEVIN UPHILL I think it’s been a very enjoyable debate this morning, thank you all for coming and carrying that out. What always excites me when you get a room full of people like this, is how engaged we all are with the ideas and ultimately that’s where the energy is. Ian mentioned earlier that it’s the lawyers and the accountants who are the advisers – that’s the end point. But the real key to exiting, or shareholder value, is the entrepreneurial activity and the ideas that make a difference. So I think when you see a room like this and the energy that we bring with it in terms of those ideas, that’s always inspiring. As Gordon mentioned earlier, it relates to business with purpose. That’s why Avondale exists – we believe that doing deals creates better businesses, which contributes to a better society.

How Avondale can help with exit strategy

Successfully selling a company involves fully understanding the business and presenting it in the best light, intelligent research and carefully approaching the right buyers, avoiding technical pitfalls and creating and managing a competitive process. Careful preparation can dramatically increase the value of the enterprise. Established in 1991, Avondale have a proven track record in creating, leading and delivering business sales with the highest success rate in the industry.

We have been presented with 10 industry M&A awards in 2015 alone, a reflection of the industry’s recognition of our professionalism and outstanding services levels. For example, a dedicated consultant will oversee your transaction from concept to completion, fully understanding your objectives and business, and committed to your success.

Valuing your business

Knowing how much your business is worth is critical to your exit strategy. Equally crucial is that the valuation is accurate. Avondale provide detailed and realistic company valuation analysis reports for numerous situations including exits, buyouts, strategic growth planning, fundraising, negotiations, tax planning and dispute resolution. Having carried out thousands of large and small business valuations, we are masters in the art of accurately valuing companies. Valuing all or part of a business requires a thorough understanding and analysis of complex factors.

Avondale use a variety of techniques in deriving realistic and precise business values – we use comparative analysis, financial modelling and judgement based on decades of experience. A quality valuation report and analysis creates a clear foundation for you to work against, enabling you to make effective strategic decisions and ensuring the success of your project. For advice on the areas to consider when seeking to enhance your firm’s value, see panel on the facing page.

Taking care of negotiations

With years of successful deal-making, Avondale are masters in the art of negotiation and crafting successful outcomes. We also have technical mergers and acquisitions expertise in respect of valuations, finance and analysis – essential to help you drive the right deal and structure. Avondale invest a vast amount of time in not only fully understanding your business and objectives, but also those of the potential buyers. This unique understanding of both seller and buyer, combined with our expert negotiation skills, enables us to leverage synergies and create a competitive
market, ultimately driving optimum deal value and structure.

Avondale offers clients an initial free business valuation appraisal for those considering a business sale. This typically takes place in the form of a meeting lasting about 90 minutes. During the meeting you will not only benefit from a free valuation by one of its expert deal leaders, but an invaluable insight into how you can increase your business value. 

For more information, visit iod.avondale-group.co.uk

How to enhance your firm’s value

Before selling their business, owners should be looking at strategic ways to increase the value – not only through the level of profits, but also by addressing elements that will directly affect the final valuation. These can include:

Creating strategic long-term growth plans. Not only will this increase value but, being clear on your alternative strategy creates a powerful walkaway position to leverage negotiations and optimise price.

Ensuring steady, recurring and forecastable income.

Eliminating dependency on key members of staff, clients and suppliers.

Ensuring solid systems are in place, including clean accounts and balance sheets with good management information systems.

Consider geographical and sector diversification. Businesses should aim to ‘own’ a niche marketplace.

To discuss your objectives, contact Avondale on 01737 234892 or email us here

IoD member benefit

The IoD, in association with Avondale, provides a member benefit, IoD Business Sales, Mergers and Acquisitions. The following savings and benefits have been specially negotiated for IoD members:

• 10 per cent discount on all fees

• Free strategy meeting (to include Value BuilderTM as appropriate for business sales)

• Free initial business valuation (for business sales)

• Confidential advice line

Call 01737 234892, visit iod.com/buyandsellor email us here

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Director commercial and sales

Director commercial and sales

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