Don Valentine is a Silicon Valley legend. Not only was he an innovative investor, he also had the foresight to jump when others hesitated and to understand early on how to coach and encourage young entrepreneurs. 华尔街日报 贡品体现了他的精神。
I often find it difficult to find a way to both encourage and assist entrepreneurs and also emphasize the achievement required for success. Don's example has always been both inspirational and directional.
Here's Ed Ward's inspiring story of the founding and growth of Irish Fest! A worldwide sensation and a gift to music lovers everywhere. On"How Did You Do That" on WUWM with 凯瑟琳·加拉格尔（Kathleen Gallagher）
If the company is in a market with good fundamental characteristics and is attractive among the companies available for sale, an auction will most probably work well, because the process should attract multiple competitive buyers.
Based on these facts, develop a buyer’s view of your company. If a seller has any concerns here, consider engaging a sell-side quality of earnings analysis. This will help you see your earnings through a seller's point of view.
An earn out payment is based upon achievement of financial results. An example might be a payment as a percentage of future EBITDA or revenue. Earn outs based on future financial performance that is not in the control of the seller post sale are often contentious and problematic.
(In one case, the seller disclosed the investor's and employee’s eagerness to exit. In addition, the seller’s balance sheet was not strong. The buyer asked for and was given an exclusivity period and direct access to key managers.
The buyer then persuaded the seller and his managers to suspend new sales activity during the course of the negotiation for “market confusion” reasons.
In the case in which a sale is highly desirable, and not all of the above are present, the plans for a good alternative may include the ability to attract short-term investment from current investors, or to extend lines of credit from your bank.
The assumption here is that alternatives come into play when the seller is down to one buyer who may try and create negotiating pressure, or an array of unacceptable terms. Absent a good alternative (especially when it becomes apparent to the buyer), price and terms pressure increase.
(The seller’s company was growing very rapidly. The seller’s budgeted sales growth in the next quarter would be up 20%. Buyers had submitted offers and the leading buyer found out what the next highest bidder’s price was.
These may be Company directors, advisors, investors, attorneys or accountants. This may include reviewing buyer requests, seller decisions, terms and risks. Agree in advance who will need to approve negotiated terms. Plan for short term review requests and meetings.
This is often an investment banker. Prefer one who is experienced in your industry and if possible who only sells, and whose transaction sizes closely match what is anticipated in this specific transaction. Get a firm commitment in advance about who in the firm will lead the deal.
In my experience, the best intermediaries have an orientation to be cooperative, positive, and seek to complete the transaction while single-mindedly seeking a fair, evenhanded transaction.
It’s amazing how often I see advisors who think aggressiveness and tough behavior is the right card to lead with. While this may get deals done, it has the potential to derail a transaction.
The ultimate balance between buyer and seller is to not have to sell and be able to have good, confirmed walk away alternatives. This is usually not an easy position to get to but it pays great rewards to sellers who have the discipline and savvy to achieve it.