Exit Execution

Financial Model and Projections

by Basil Peters | August 15, 2013 | 6 Comments

Graph of EBITDA

For almost every M&A transaction the Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) contains both actual financial results and projections.  (The rare exception is a company whose entire value is a patent portfolio.) In companies with external investors, management teams are familiar with projecting financials. This is a necessary part of projecting future financing requirements. For internally financed companies that are ready to exit, the enti...

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Case Studies

Pacinian – Pre-Revenue $30 Million Exit

by Basil Peters | August 13, 2013 | one response


In earlier days, entrepreneurs dreamed of founding an innovative start-up and building it into a big company. After many years of solid sales and profits, the company might be acquired, with founders and investors earning a capital gain. But in today's fast-evolving technology marketplace, growing a small start-up into a big company may not be the best strategy. An increasing number of promising start-ups are exiting early at very attractive valuat...

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Case Studies

Pacinian – The Interview Videos

by Basil Peters | | 5 Comments

Pacinian Video Thumbnail

It's rare to be able to post a detailed case study on an early exit. The most interesting information is usually restricted by a non-disclosure agreement. This is a very valuable opportunity to hear directly from the Chairman and a lead investor about what went on behind the scenes in this $30 million pre-revenue exit. These videos complement the complete written Read More

M&A Misperceptions

Gold, Silver and Bronze M&A Services

by Basil Peters | July 25, 2013 | 2 Comments

I recently had a fascinating conversation about fees with another M&A professional. We weren't competitive because our firms worked in different geographic regions, so we had no hesitation in openly discussing our firm’s fee structures. His firm is considerably larger than mine. They employ dozens of professionals, associates and support people. We agreed pretty quickly on what Read More

Exits Strategies Workshop

Exit Strategies Workshop Sept 17, 2013
at SFU Downtown Vancouver, BC

by Basil Peters | July 9, 2013 | no responses

I'm pleased to announce another full day Exit Strategies Workshop at SFU Downtown Vancouver on September 17, 2013. Attendees consistently rate the Exit Strategies Workshop as excellent. Here’s some feedback from previous atteendees. Joining me again are Steve Lukas, Axel Christiansen, Prentice Durban and Steve MacDonald. Here's more on the Read More

Exits Strategies Workshop

The Exit Strategies Workshop 2012
Prentice Durbin on Legal Planning

by Basil Peters | | no responses

Prentice Durbin

In the tenth presentation at the Exit Strategies Workshop 2012, Prentice Durbin discusses exit legal planning. Prentice describes the essential legal processes which should be started early to ensure a successful exit. He calls this "Planning for Payday".

Highlights of Part 10 - Legal Planning (Planning for Payday):

  • Be prepared. Image and Perception.
  • Reduce transaction stress (save time).
  • Personal tax exempt...

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Exits Strategies Workshop

The Exit Strategies Workshop 2012
Steve Lukas on Fear the Representations and Warranties

by Basil Peters | | no responses

Steve Lukas

In the twelfth presentation at the Exit Strategies Workshop 2012, Steve Lukas describes why you should fear the Representations and Warranties.

Highlights of Part 12 - Fear the Representations and Warranties:

  • What is a representation and warranty?
  • What is a covenant? What is a condition?
  • Disclosure, Insurance and Risk allocation
  • Make representations true!
  • Schedule exceptions – i.e.,...

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M&A Advisors

M&A Advisors Should be Local to Reduce Failures

by Basil Peters | May 1, 2013 | 4 Comments

Distance to the M&A Advisor (in miles)

When CEOs and boards begin to look for an M&A Advisor, they often start in one of the big financial centers like New York or Boston. For most transactions under $100 million, I believe an M&A Advisor more than a couple of hours away by car is usually a bad choice. One of the dirty secrets in the M&A Advisory business is large number of M&A Advisory engagements that fail to result in a successful transaction. It’s impossible to fin...

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Exits Strategies Workshop

Exits Workshop in Victoria – May 22, 2013

by Basil Peters | April 21, 2013 | no responses

I'm pleased to announce a special version of the Exit Strategies Workshop in Victoria, BC on May 22, 2013. Attendees consistently rate the Exits Workshop as one of the best. Here’s some feedback from previous atteendees: Two Victoria resident CEOs will describe the inside stories on the...

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Business Valuation- What Will Your Company Sell For?

by Basil Peters | April 18, 2013 | 2 Comments

Valuation Principles - Growth

My bookshelf has an entire section of books on valuation. Even though I deal with valuation every day, I haven’t looked at any of those books for at least a couple of years. It’s just not a process you need reference books for. Most of the time, acquisition valuations can even be done without a spreadsheet – many professionals will work out the valuation on a whiteboard or even a post-it-note. That sounds simple, but valuation is actually qui...

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Exit Execution

How Not to Sell a Business

by Basil Peters | February 6, 2013 | 4 Comments

How Not to Sell a Business

This is the first time I've described all of the things we did wrong the first time I tried to sell a business. It's also the story of the first time I lost several million dollars.

How Not to Sell a Business - Don't Blow The Biggest Deal of Your Life

This is a talk I gave to the Vancouver Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) on February 19, 2009. It is consistently the most viewed video on my blog. In this talk, I compare my f...

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Exit Execution

The Value of a Sellability Score

by Basil Peters | January 28, 2013 | 2 Comments


The Sellability Score was created by my friend John Warrillow who also wrote Built to Sell. If you are thinking about selling your business now, or at some point in the future, the Sellability Score will be valuable to you. A Sellability Score is an external, unbiased evaluation of your business's worth on the open market, calculat...

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Exit Execution

Only 25% of Saleable Companies Exit

by Basil Peters | January 26, 2013 | 9 Comments

Only 25pct of Saleable Companies Exit

I'm convinced that only about 25% of the businesses that could be sold actually end up successfully exiting. Yes. I believe that about three out of four times when a company could have been successfully sold, a sale did not end up happening - ever. And most of the time, it was avoidable.

The Frustrating Lack of Data on Exits

One of the most frustrating aspects of researching exits is the lack of data on transactions under $50 million, wh...

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M&A Advisors

What is an M&A Advisor?

by Basil Peters | January 8, 2013 | 15 Comments


What is an 'M&A Advisor'? Why haven’t you heard the term more often? One of the speakers at a recent Exit Strategies workshop in Vancouver (a well-respected senior M&A lawyer) commented that up until a couple of years ago he'd rarely heard the term 'M&A Advisor'. He went on to explain that while there were certainly professionals helping to execute exit transactions, they d...

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Exit Strategy

Exit Strategies Workshop 2011 Part 6
Financing Strategy for Maximum Exit Value

by Basil Peters | November 5, 2012 | no responses

Exits Workshop Part 6 Axel Christiansen - Sub Debt

Highlights of Part 6 - Financing Strategy for Maximum Exit Value:

  • Axel Christiansen introduction. And why is he so funny?
  • What is Sub Debt and who is it useful to? In what types of exit transactions?
  • Company value as a multiple of EBITDA. The "New Normal".
  • Seven reasons to create a financing package.
  • Vendor notes and other financing tools.
  • Case Study: Buy Me Inc.
  • Su...

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