Services

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SELLING YOUR COMPANY

What are my options?

There are multiple avenues available when selling your company and several different types of buyers. Aside from wealthy individual buyers, the two main types of buyers Ascend deals with are strategic and financial. Strategic buyers are companies who tend to be in your industry or would like to be, and wish to grow their business either strategically, structurally and/or geographically. Currently corporate America has more cash on its balance sheet than in any other time in history (approximately $1.5 trillion). Large corporations are under a lot of pressure to increase sales and profitability and only so much can be attained through organic internal growth. Therefore, in order to meet their goals, the acquisition of middle market businesses has become a very important part of their growth strategy. Once a company identifies an acquisition target that it needs or wants, they usually pay the price necessary to acquire it and the process moves fairly quickly. In most instances, the Strategic acquires 100% of the business and the owner, after transition occurs, can go off into the sunset to begin their next phase of life.

However, what if you want to have more personal time to start enjoying your life now, but you’re not ready to retire. Perhaps you feel your company has tremendous potential for growth and you don’t wish to sell and leave all that money on the table, but you need human resources and capital to attain it. A partial sale to a financial buyer could be the appropriate choice for you. Often financial buyers generally known as private equity groups (PEGs) wish to purchase a majority of the company (51%+) with the mission of rapidly growing it and selling in the near future.

These groups currently have close to $600 billion of cash required to be invested (dry powder) and when leveraged by financial institution debt, their total funds available for buy-outs increases to over $1.2 trillion. Their model will often include bringing in growth capital, as well as human resources for operational, sales and marketing functions. Depending on the management team in place and the owner’s desire, the PEG may have them stay to run the day-to-day or take an advisory role, helping to guide the company at a high level. Either way, this allows the sellers to maintain a substantial stake in their company, while not being alone when dealing with all the issues of running and growing a business. These PEG’s usually work with the seller to build their company for 3 to 5 years and when the company is sold once again, the original owners receive a second bite of the apple by selling their retained ownership on the second sale. In many cases this can be as much, if not more, than the original sale amount in terms of monetary payment.


 
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MAXIMIZE VALUE

Because selling a company is one of the most critical decisions for any business owner, Ascend structures each sales process to meet our client's specific goals. With significant experience as a business broker managing sell-side engagements for business owners, along with our unique combination of financial sophistication, professional competence, understanding the psychology of all the players, and refined negotiating skills, our professionals have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to optimize results while maintaining hands-on client relationships. Ascend focuses on maximizing the value of our clients’ companies by:

  • Targeting the "right" buyers
  • Proactively preparing the company for a successful sales process
  • Optimally positioning the company’s value proposition
  • Efficiently and professionally managing the process
  • Creating a “competitive” bidding environment
  • Anticipating, and effectively responding to Buyer concerns
  • Aggressively negotiating deal terms
  • Maintaining deal momentum throughout the process

Ascends assertive and proactive approach to the sales and due diligence process instills a sense of excitement about the business, confidence in the management team, and enthusiasm about the deal. Ascends success in optimizing sell–side valuations is centered on our ability to analyze the business of the seller, quantify the company’s core assets and how they can be leveraged, and then identify which acquirers will ascribe maximum value to those assets. Our objective is to create a competitive bidding environment with more than one potential acquirer to maximize the sales price for the business owners. This process has often enabled Ascend business broker clients to receive significantly more value for their businesses than they initially thought possible.


 
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THE TIME IS NOW

Ascend is committed to optimizing the results we provide for our business broker/M&A advisory clients – even if that means extra work for years in advance. If you are planning to sell your business in the next 1-5 years, the time to start the preparation process is NOW!

Ascend will work with you in advance to help ensure you are ready and optimally positioned. When you decide to sell, Ascend will help you:

  • Optimize your market positioning
  • Enhance financial performance and reporting
  • Identify prospective buyers, and the criteria each values the most
  • Establish awareness and interest with these potential buyers
  • Review your ability to succeed in due diligence
  • Work with the owners and management on the presentation content and delivery
  • Identify and assist in the resolution of likely valuation ‘detractors’

This proactive, systematic process not only allows you to be well-prepared to maximize your Company’s value when you go to market, but also to be ready to capitalize on opportunities when they arise such as unsolicited offers. If you think you want to sell any time in the next 1-5 years, please feel free to give us a call at (925) 381-2269. Taking early action is integral to maximize your Company’s value to its fullest potential. Ascend will work to position you to make the most of every opportunity.


 
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VALUE BUILD ADVISORY

Ascend is one of the region’s most respected strategic, financial and operational business brokerage and M&A advisory firms in the $2 to $100 million in sales middle-market. We help many of the most successful companies refine their strategy, focus their execution, and improve their financial and operating performance which has earned Ascend the reputation for excellence. Services we perform, or assist the client in accomplishing include:

  • Develop or refine your strategic plan
  • Customer procurement and growth analysis
  • Product profitability analysis and implementation
  • Leveraging brands and intellectual properties
  • Evaluating strategic acquisitions to achieve valuation arbitrage
  • Key management team building
  • Partner buy-outs
  • Family/management succession
  • Estimations of value
  • Positioning for maximum add-backs and conducting pre-due diligence to maximize future sales opportunities.

Ascend has worked with hundreds of companies in a wide array of industries. We've worked with everything from Pandigital which was a $200 million manufacturer of technology products, to Wireless Retail Corp. a $400 million distributor of wireless devices to Cold Stone Creamery which was less than 100 stores when we began and was built up to over 1,000 stores and ready to sell during our engagement. We have also performed value build services for many businesses in the under $20 million revenue range, the latest being an ecommerce company. While under our advisory, in just over a year, this company increased revenue and earnings by approximately 50% and increased their value almost 100%. *

Ascend can make an immediate and measurable impact on your business. Give us a call and we’ll provide a no-cost, no obligation assessment of your situation to determine how we can best contribute to your future success. While all of our business brokers and advisors have significant experience in their practice areas, we ensure that each client – regardless of the size of the company or the engagement – receives the personal time and attention of our most experienced resources. This senior-level commitment to our clients has become a hallmark of our business.

We appreciate that in the middle market every company and every situation is different. Our ability to quickly get up to speed on our clients' businesses is well honed and is a cornerstone of our success. We skillfully apply our experiences from prior engagements to our current client's situation. However, while we give our clients the benefit of our full depth of experience, we also remain committed to learning what makes you unique.

This commitment – of time and Partner-level resources – consistently produces exceptional results for our clients. Give us a call at (925) 381-2269 to explore the type of results we can contribute to YOUR business.