Case Studies on How to Sell a Business

BY Basil Peters

The most interesting way to learn about any business process is to study real world examples of what other companies have done. When you want to learn about how to sell a business, the really interesting information – for example the purchase price – is not usually disclosed.

Fortunately, in situations where either the buyer or seller are public companies, all of the high level data is in the public domain.

The case studies in this section describe business sales I’ve done where either the buyer or seller was public. Each of the examples highlights one of the exit strategy principles described my earlier articles.

A Well Designed and Executed Exit Can Increase Value by 50%.

All of these case studies illustrate how a well-designed and executed business sale can increase the final selling price of a company by 50% or more.

The Importance of Multiple Bidders

The Nexus, Parasun and Sunaptic transactions all show how a competitive bidding situation can increase the final business selling price.

Strategic Value

The Nexus, PCS Wireless and Sunaptic exit transactions are examples of how the final selling price of the business can be increased by finding a buyer that sees a high strategic value in the acquisition.

Excellent Business Brokers

While it’s hard to isolate this factor (and I might be biased)  all of these transactions also illustrate that psychology and the skill of the selling team are big factors in achieving that extra 50+% value increase when selling a business.

Selling Pre-Revenue

The exits market has changed dramatically in the past decade. Exits which would have been inconceivable just a few years ago, are quite common today. Here are some examples of exits that were very successfully completed before the company had any revenue: Brightside, Pacinian.