After spending the last couple of months involved in a few acquisitions, and seeing what might be coming as the economy continues to improve slowly, I thought it might be helpful to talk about what goes into the sale of a company. It is a mysterious process for many business owners who are doing it for the first time. They are likely getting only one shot at selling a company, so it is important to go into the process with some understanding of what is coming. A big mistake that many business owners make is jumping in without sufficient prepping and letting the process teach you valuable lessons (after it is too late). Because there is a lot to discuss, I will break this into several posts. Over the next few weeks, I plan to cover term sheets (aka letters of intent, memorandum of understanding, etc.); deal structures; purchase price and earnout issues; representations, warranties, and covenants, and some other thoughts that might help you when you approach this milestone. These posts will mostly deal with private company sales - public company transactions come with their own peculiar issues - but the concepts here will cover the vast majority of transactions out there.
So stay tuned!