How To Prepare Your Company For Sale When It’s Not For Sale
In my 20-plus years in the M&A business I’ve learned three truths of the trade: A business is always for sale. A business is not always prepared to be sold. And culture, strategy and price matter most in an acquisition. What’s your culture? It’s everything from whether you have high variable pay vs. high base pay to whether you compensate certain roles substantially more to whether the business is run with the expectation of generating higher or lower profits. It’s difficult to integrate culturally divergent businesses.
The CFO role is incredibly more complicated than it was 20 years ago. You have to deal with extreme stock market volatility, trade wars, inverted yield curves and vendor consolidation, not to mention technologies, like blockchain and AI, that have game-changing potential. Fast-growing companies are increasingly being approached by private equity (PE) firms, bankers and strategic buyers, including competitors.
Unless you’re prepared to respond proactively, evaluating serious preemptive offers is going to be disruptive — sometimes enough to destroy business momentum and even harm long-term shareholder value.
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