M&A Advisors

M&A Advisor Fees for Selling a Business

by Basil Peters | May 1, 2016 | 48 Comments

M&A Fees and Advisor Quality

Information about M&A advisor (investment banking) fees for selling a business is surprisingly difficult to find.  I'm not sure why other M&A professionals are so reluctant to discuss fees and even less sure it makes sense in today’s online world. This is a current summary of the fees I'm seeing in the market. There are no industry surveys or databases on M&A Advisory fees. The only ways I know to get information on fees is: to ask p...

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Exit Strategy

Every Company Should Have an Exit Strategy

by Basil Peters | June 1, 2015 | no responses


Every company should have a signed exit strategy. This is especially critical before contacting the first external investors. Different investors are compatible with different exit strategies. Getting this wrong can actually kill the company. The exit strategy is the foundation for the entire company plan.

Key Points:

  • All companies can be divided into types
  • Only one of those two types works for investors
  • T...

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Exit Strategy

Don’t Ride It Over the Top Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Amsterdam

by Basil Peters | December 20, 2014 | no responses

Part of Your Life You Never Get Back

This was a presentation to a hundred Dutch investors and CEO's at the Nyenrode Business Universiteit just outside of Amsterdam. In this video I describe the critical importance of exit timing and the dramatic effect it can have on investor returns and the lives of entrepreneurs.

This talk included:

  • How the internet has accelerated everything and shortened company lifecycles
  • Entrepreneurs now have “Weekenders” whe...

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This Golden Era for Entrepreneurs UBC Sauder School of Business

by Basil Peters | November 1, 2014 | no responses

M&A is the Transition from Innovation to Growth

Lecture to the MBA class: Growing and Exiting a Venture at the UBC Sauder School of Business on why I believe this is a 'Golden Era' for entrepreneurs.

Topics include:

  • There has never been a time before when it was so easy for so many entrepreneurs,
  • to create such valuable companies on so little capital,
  • and sell them so early for so much money
  • The biggest change in the 21st century
  • Big...

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Exit Execution

Exit Strategies for European Tech & Life Sciences Companies – Artic 15, Helsinki

by Basil Peters | September 15, 2014 | no responses

Exit Strategies for European Technology and Life Sciences Companies

At the Artic 15 Conference: Exit Path in Helsinki, I describe exit strategies for European technology and life sciences companies. And explain why I believe growing a knowledge-based company in Europe today can be better than building one in Silicon Valley.

Highlights include:

  • Why it used to be easier to grow a company in America
  • Yes, raising capital in Europe is more challenging and why
  • Fortunately, capital...

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Early Exits

Got a Patent? Sell the Company! Element8 Angel Conference, Seattle

by Basil Peters | July 26, 2014 | 3 Comments

What often happens

This is an excerpt from a talk I gave at the Element8 angels workshop in Seattle: Investing a World With Few Exits.

Some of the key points from my talk:

  • I believe only 25% of all companies that could have been sold actually end up successfully exiting
  • If a company misses the ideal time to exit, then the most likely result is that it will fail ...

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Early Exits

Got a Patent? Sell the Company!

by Basil Peters | | 8 Comments

Exit Probabilities

I Thought I Understood Patents

When I was CEO of my first technology company I thought I understood how patents worked. But it was only after managing a hedge fund for a few years that I began to appreciate the risks patent holders face. Many entrepreneurs think that the real test of a patent’s value is whether or not it will be granted. But in my experience the real value isn’t known until you’ve spent years, and millions of dollar...

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Exit Strategy

Improving Returns for Angels and Entrepreneurs – Element8 Angels, Seattle

by Basil Peters | May 26, 2014 | one response

Financial Loss

This video is a talk I gave at the Element8 angels workshop in Seattle: Investing a World With Few Exits.

Some of the key points from my talk:

  • I believe only 25% of all companies that could have been sold actually end up successfully exiting
  • If a company misses the ideal time to exit, then the most likely result is that it will fail completely...

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Double Your Exits – 6th Angel Summit Dunedin, New Zealand

by Basil Peters | March 8, 2014 | no responses

Valuation and Angel Education

I believe Angel Investors could double their number of exits. This would double the returns on their portfolios. Yes, double. This video is from the 6th Annual Angel Investor Summit, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Double Your Exits includes:

  • OK, I’ll say it…Most angel investors lose money
  • We need to talk about it and I know we are already improving
  • Generating a consistent return on any investment portfolio isn’...

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Why Big Companies Can’t Innovate

by Basil Peters | February 15, 2014 | 13 Comments


When I was in grad school I co-founded a company that grew to become the second largest manufacturer of cable television headend equipment in the world. For the ten years after I graduated, I woke up every morning thinking of ways to out-innovate our two major competitors. We were a startup and they were both Fortu...

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What Happened to Venture Capital? UBC Sauder School of Business

by Basil Peters | January 10, 2014 | no responses

What Happened to Venture Capital

This was a lecture to the MBA Entrepreneurial Finance Course at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.

Here's what happened to the Venture Capital industry:

  • Intel, Microsoft and Cisco aren't making money for their shareholders
  • Or, more importantly, for their employees
  • That's part of the reason the best and brightest are now working in startups
  • Big companies have lost their a...

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Case Studies

Selling a Business for 50% More – Case Studies

by Basil Peters | January 2, 2014 | 9 Comments


Most people have difficulty believing that you can sell a business for 50% more just by executing the exit well. I've written before about how this can be achieved. This post has video excerpts where you'll see CEOs and Chairs who have actually done it. It is very unusual to hear case studies ...

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Exit Timing

The Exit Process and Timeline

by Basil Peters | November 25, 2013 | no responses

Exit Process and Timeline

This video from the Exit Strategies workshop describes the exit process and timeline.

Highlights of The Exit Process and Timeline:

  • For many exits, the biggest question isn't "How Much Can We Get?"
  • Instead "It's How Soon Can We Exit?"
  • The short answer is 6 to 18 months
  • From the time you engage an M&A Advisor, until the cash is in the bank
  • But it can take longer if the company isn't r...

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Early Exits

An Early Exit is Better than a VC Financing

by Basil Peters | October 6, 2013 | 4 Comments

Recently, at an Exit Strategies Workshop in Victoria, someone asked me to compare the pros and cons of an early exit versus a traditional Venture Capital financing. The scenario we used for our example was a successful startup company with a proven business that needed $10 million to $20 million to fund growth. (In this article, I am being precise about the distinction between the business a...

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Exit Execution

No One Can Sell Your Cash Well

by Basil Peters | | no responses

What I’m about to describe is difficult for some people to understand. Recently, I completely failed to convey this concept to an experienced professional accountant. The fact is, nobody can sell your cash well. What I mean is this: if you’re thinking about selling your company, I feel strongly that it’s desirable to strip out the cash that’s not absolutely necessary before starting the exit valuation negotiation with pr...

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