M&A Advisors

How to Select the Best M&A Advisor to Sell Your Company

by Basil Peters | June 19, 2016 | no responses

Selecting the Best M&A Advisor

From "How to Finish Big – Tactics to Maximize Your Selling Price" from the  Business Transitions Forum in Vancouver, BC November 26, 2015.

Key Elements:

  • There is almost nothing written about selecting M&A advisors
  • How much work is required to sell a company well?
  • For a fully marketed, competitive transaction it's about 1 to 2 man-years
  • If a v...

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Exit Strategy

Waterloo Exit Strategies Workshop

by Basil Peters | June 18, 2016 | no responses


This was the first presentation of the new Exit Strategies workshop I developed for the National Angel Capital Association Angel Academy. It was presented at the Golden Triangle Angel Network in Waterloo, Ontario on May 8, 2015.

Key Points from Part 1 - Only 25% of saleable companies successfully exit

  • 75% of the time, when we build a company that could have been sold
  • We blow it and fail to successfully exit.
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M&A Advisors

M&A Advisor Fees for Selling a Business

by Basil Peters | May 1, 2016 | 64 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 Execution

How Much Will Your Company Sell For?
– Understanding the Valuation Process

by Basil Peters | January 15, 2016 | no responses


Keynote from the Business Transitions Forum in Vancouver, BC. Learn how to determine the price you'll receive when you sell your company and what you can do to ensure the price is fair. This talk describes the market factors which affect the price and describes what you can do to maximize the final valuation.

Highlights from How Much Will Your Company Sell For?

Early Exits

Early Exits Update

by Basil Peters | December 12, 2015 | no responses

Early Exits Update2

This was the opening keynote at the 2015 Colorado Capital Conference.

Key Points:

  • The popularity of the Early Exits book surprised me
  • I want to start by emphasizing that:
  • Early Exits is not a theory, “entrepreneurial preference” or a “portfolio strategy”
  • It’s a “macro-economic observation”
  • We understand now that the early exits trend is being driven by the convergence of:<...

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Taking a Deal From 3x to 7x

by Basil Peters | November 17, 2015 | no responses

3x to 7x

This was a talk to several hundred M&A professionals at the Association of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors annual conference. The organizers asked me to discuss ways to increase the final selling price.

Key Points:

  • The first step: Hire a really good M&A Advisor - seriously
  • Isn’t going “from 3x to 7x” the main reason to hire an M&A Advisor?
  • Selling a business for 3x is a heck of a lot ea...

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Early Exits

Accidental Exits – Lessons from Recent Exits

by Basil Peters | July 16, 2015 | no responses

Accidental Exits

This keynote from an Angel Capital Association regional meeting describes three successful exits that were also what I call "Accidental Exits." By that I mean exits that were the result of an unplanned approach from a buyer. In this very active M&A market, sellers are often being surprised by buyers changing the conversation and offering to buy the company.

Highlights from Accidental Exits:

  • We don't have hard data to help us ...

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Exit Strategy

Every Company Should Have an Exit Strategy

by Basil Peters | June 1, 2015 | 4 Comments


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 two types
  • Only one of those two types works for investors
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Exits Strategies Workshop

The Exit Strategies Workshop at the Inc. Growco Conference Nashville

by Basil Peters | May 22, 2015 | no responses

Exit Strategies Workshop

These are the videos from an Exit Strategies workshop at the Inc. GrowCo conference in Nashville.

Section 1 - Only 25% of Saleable Companies Successfully Exit

  • Yes, I’m saying that 75% of the time when entrepreneurs and investors build a company that could have been sold we blow it
  • And fail to successfully exit
  • Keep in mind that this is anecdotal observation, not hard data
  • We still don’t have t...

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Exit Strategy

Exit War Stories and Life Strategies

by Basil Peters | April 30, 2015 | no responses

War Stories

Deciding to sell a company is one of the biggest decisions we make as business owners. It will change your life in ways that are impossible to imagine. And it will often change the lives of your shareholders and employees. And, as important as this decision is, the truth is - we are not very good at exits.

Key Points:

  • We dramatically underutilize exits as part of our life strategies
  • To succeed, CEOs have to learn to b...

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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 | | 12 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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