"埃德·沃德（Ed Ward）如何创造世界'密尔沃基最大的凯尔特节日"您是怎么做到的？由WUWM 89.7
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。
我们偷了他的想法 "Sequoia Scouts" program. It'对他的才华和领导才能表示敬意。
他与史蒂夫·乔布斯（Steve Jobs）和诺兰·布什内尔（Nolan Bushnell）的关系非常有影响力和形成性。
（如果你'd like to hear Don'用自己的话讲故事 "Something Ventured," a 2011 documentary. Great movie.)
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.
He'll be missed. 或者，正如爱尔兰人所说，"We'我再也看不到他的样子。"
For leaders of private, closely held companies, selling the company is an important and critical event in their lives. There are several important considerations in managing the sales process to maximize results, avoid both delays and failure to close, all centered around preparation for the entire selling cycle.
In mid-2018 private equity transaction prices are at very high levels. This is good news for well prepared sellers who are able to execute on best practices when selling.
Extensive experience underlines the expectation that an auction process is the best process for achieving a good outcome. Of course, experienced buyers sometimes try and convince sellers not to hold an auction for a variety of “reasons.” The end result, intended or not, is usually much lower price and poorer economic terms for sellers.
In an auction process, the seller - or most likely, their investment banker, will prepare an offering document, (including a non-disclosure agreement) circulate to probable interested buyers, solicit bids, pick two or three of the best to negotiate with, and come to an acceptable, and painless close.
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.
重要的是，应告知卖方类似位置公司的当前市场价格以及该价格的组成部分。 对可比市场交易的全面审查将包括对哪些特定指标支持市场上最具吸引力的倍数的理解。 （越新越好。） 这始于客户获取成本和由此产生的终生价值，并且可能包括收入占销售额的百分比，收入随时间增长，持续增长率，每位员工的销售额以及其他特定于行业的指标。 例如，投资银行家和行业组织就是这类信息的良好来源。
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.
如果财务状况不是“干净的”，那么这对卖家来说是个好时机 删除不必要的费用和资产负债表项目，例如股东贷款，非经营性资产等。 如有可能，请避免对P进行重大调整&L.如果卖方需要从公司支出中删除个人物品，这可能意味着要在出售产品之前运营一年或更长时间。 买家会把这些物品看做一家出色的公司，尤其是在竞争激烈的情况下，但它们的存在会导致对其他潜在陷阱和差异的更深层次的质疑。
根据此信息构建销售产品。 这将包括该公司的独特故事，其增长机会，其在市场中的地位以及根据其在这些行业指标下的表现而在可比公司名单中的位置。 突出公司的优势和机会，并确定已知的风险。积极地解释风险，缓解计划和成就是成功收购公司的高度重视的特征。
在当今的收购环境中，最大的区别之一就是公司能够客观地描述客户的收购成本和生命周期价值。 许多公司仅根据销售额的一定百分比来分配营销预算，而没有充分区分获得新客户的成本和保留他们并描述其长期获利能力的成本要低得多。 看到此数据的买家将更满意基于客观数据驱动的历史事实的增长预测。
The more attractive the company is on objective, quantifiable basis, the more likely that its offering will be attractive to multiple buyers, shifting leverage in the selling process.
建立一系列的价值期望并仔细审查当前情况， 买方可能会建议的可比较条款。 一些重点包括：
有时会被忽略的区域是“保留”，即在某些商定的时间段内托管的购买价格的一部分。 这笔钱旨在用于保证卖方对业务的陈述和担保的准确性。 在竞争激烈的市场中，当购买价格超过$ 10MM时，卖方可以考虑要求买方购买保险以支付此担保。 它很昂贵（通常是保留费用的2％到5％），并且在中间五个数字中包含了承保费。 它也有购买价格百分比的限制（在许多情况下为10％），并且可能无法消除保留部分收益的必要性。 但是，由于承销要求为保留协商带来了许多客观性，因此有助于确保保留将被退回。
购买价格的这部分保留在托管中，直到达到某些商定的里程碑为止。 这类似于但不相同。 里程碑付款可以根据未来的完成订单，某些客户的保留或类似的客观要求来确定。 竞争性投标可以减少里程碑付款的规模，复杂性，时间和数量。
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.
Because private equity transactions are normally leveraged, buyers will often ask sellers to be the most subordinated lender in a transaction. Again, a competitive process may reduce or eliminate the need for a seller to accept this. In reality, a seller note is often structurally similar in risk to a preferred equity with a fixed interest rate without the potential equity upside.
如果将拥有可再投资股权的卖方离开公司交易后，并被要求收取部分或全部股票收益，则对新股权的条款有清晰的了解是必不可少的。 如果新所有者有能力在将来稀释股票，或以其他方式减少未来的经济利益， 重要的是，要就如何赎回股权，在什么情况下以及何时赎回资产达成协议。 卖方应充分了解与持有股权相关的风险以及潜在的上涨空间。
At some point in a successful sale, buyers may request that sellers sign an exclusivity agreement by agreeing only to negotiate with them until a conclusion or breakup is reached.
卖方有充分的理由在谈判中订立排他性条款。 如果卖方看到了几个报价并且已经基于数量 有理由相信这些提议代表了 市场价格，对建议的价格和条款感到满意，并且买方表现出一致，有据可查，可信赖的行为，进入独家谈判期的规定可以减轻管理负担，加快交易速度并建立良好的关系。 它还可以减少在交易失败的情况下可能对公司有害的信息泄漏。
However, exclusivity periods can be used to stall while watching performance, especially if managers are distracted by the process itself and valuation discussions have included forecast results in the next quarter or two. Disclosing information can be used to squeeze the company during the same process.
Buyers who believe exclusivity makes sense in a given negotiation may consider limiting their exposure to risk by limiting the time period to very short intervals, and requiring reaffirmation of price and terms at each (biweekly?) time period. If there is any slippage, consider reopening conversations with others.
(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.
As sales fell and cash pressure built, the buyer lowered the offer and in the end the company accepted a 50% reduction in the sales price as an alternative to running out of cash. Part of the leaders rationalization for doing this was the promise of a bright financial and career future at the acquirer. A year later he was suing them for wrongful termination.)
回顾过去，正确的答案是开发更多的替代买家，只有在原始买家仍然受到青睐的情况下，才同意较短的排他性尽职调查期。 参考检查可能已经提供了有关买方进取心的信息。 也没有做。 当然，同意充分的员工访问权限以及“停止销售”的决定以及缺乏好的顾问都是错误。
Decide what the minimally acceptable price and terms are, considering the factual information gathered. Then build an alternative plan contingent on the inability to obtain a desirable transaction. Included in this thinking should be a broader definition of selling to include leveraged recapitalizations and family succession planning.
继续经营业务的能力，强大的资本和出色的销售队伍，产品开发，正现金流量和营销计划是替代方案的重要组成部分。 AQ对客户获取成本的详细了解是该计划的核心部分。 不受限制的简单地继续经营业务的能力（尤其是对买方显而易见的能力）是一种强大的选择。 现金增加会增强卖方的选择余地，并削弱买方的权力。
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.
(Recently, a buyer, late in the process made an 11th hour reduction in price believing the company had no good alternative. The well-prepared seller presented his alternatives and explained that they were all superior to a reduced price. The buyer withdrew his offer, walked away and returned three weeks later, reluctantly agreeing to the original terms.
卖方解释说，替代方案效果很好，并提高了原先商定的价格。 买主抱怨了，但是服从了。 这一切都是基于锁定并加载了真正的替代方案。卖方还指定了一个人（不是她）与卖方进行谈判。 这层分离提供了时间来继续发展和管理业务，而不受交易干扰。有趣的是，这也增加了买方对业务及其管理的尊重。）
Ask knowledgeable advisors what information the buyer will likely ask for. (If you were buying rather than selling, what would you want to know?) Use standard diligence checklists to thoroughly review all possible information requests. Prepare this information carefully, and cautiously.
Standard disclosures include financial matters, customer centric data analysis, an overview of intellectual property, customer sales history and contracts, supplier agreements, litigation history, employment contracts, practices and issues; past and current performance to budget; tax matters; regulatory issues and insurance, for instance.
精明的卖方及其顾问可以并且通常应该分层披露信息。 例如，可以最初提供有关员工，客户和供应商的摘要数据。 但是，例如，访问详细信息和访问， 对员工，客户和供应商来说应该不迟到。 最佳做法是披露与最终买方承诺相关的敏感信息。
卖方需要谨慎对待与他们在此过程中获得的信息有关的买方行为。 例如，买家可以在售后期间影响员工并制定不同的激励措施。 这些激励措施有可能导致员工对销售价格和条款施加压力。 卖方应向自己保证，管理动机与卖方的交易目标完全一致。
(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.
By the time this has happened, it’s probably too late. As previously noted, developing an alternative that aligns management with sellers is an imperative in the selling preparation process.
请注意，尽职调查的大部分是卖方本人。 买家不仅要评估谈判的优缺点，还要评估个人目标和抱负。 该过程也可以构成今后良好工作关系的基础。 能够接受诚实和适当的自我披露的卖家可以解除武装，并获得良好的结果。当然， 多项竞争性报价使自我披露的风险降低！
Sellers should always ask for and check buyer references early in the diligence process. Thorough vetting will assure sellers of the quality of offer and background of the buyer. Buyers who are motivated to build strong relationships as an essential part of a good business will welcome sellers who take these actions.
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.
Consider informing the buyer that you have to seek approval from your advisors for proposed terms and concessions. In this way, you buy yourself time to carefully consider requests. The discipline created by agreements to review steps with advisors, even if they do not have decision making authority, can create a safety valve to avoid pressure to make decisions hastily.
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.