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Business Exit Strategies

We run an annual programme of free half day Business Exit Strategies Seminars for business owners throughout the East of England. These are lively and informative events giving practical guidance on selling your business or doing a succession buy-out, preparing the company for sale, the sale process and how to save tax.

We're running the event again shortly in Norwich and Peterborough on 8th and 15th March, then again in June in Cambridge and London. For full details click here for the brochure, or click here to book

Topics covered include how to:-

  • Maximise your business value for exit
  • Value your business
  • Sell your business
  • Plan succession
  • Minimise tax
  • Sell to your management team in an MBO

The seminars will be presented by 3 experienced advisors from PEMCF. No hard sell, just an informative and lively morning packed with useful, practical advice and with a detailed delegate pack to take home.

Some quotes from previous attendees:
"Excellent non technical explanation of the process."
"Clear, concise, easy to understand."
"Made tax almost interesting."
"Exercises good ā€“ discussion and thinking."

Practical tips for selling to an overseas buyer

Many of the deals we do have an international element. If you have a decent company, with a good position in the UK market, and its large enough for a cross border deal, overseas buyers may pay a premium in order to get access to the market. There are some practical points to consider if you're thinking about cross border M&A.

The timescales involved in the sale process will typically be longer. Some overseas buyers may have slow decision making processes, or for that matter will need time to book flights to come and visit the vendors.

A buyer which has already got some kind of foothold in the market will probably move faster than one for whom you might be the first acquisition.

Overseas buyers may have different expectations on the legalities of the deal. Hopefully they will appoint a decent UK lawyer to guide them. However sometimes their choice of lawyers can be unhelpful - we've seen huge City of London firms appointed where a decent regional practice would have been more appropriate, equally we've seen inappropriately small firms appointed just because they are a an internatinal network with the buyers lawyers. Then there are questions on what they expect re warranties and other key provisions. Many overseas buyers will expect to put some of the purchase consideration in escrow - this would be unusual for a UK buyer.

Overseas buyers need some flexibility in the auction process - bear in mind they have do deal with a different culture, legal jurisdication, and find the time to visit.

Tax laws may be different in the UK. We've had foreign buyers keen to make asset purchases - of course this is bad news for an entrepreneur who would not benefit from Entrepreneurs' Relief in a deal structured that way. Surprisingly we have even seen one north American buyer which was prepared to gross up the price to compensate the sellers for the tax disadvantage.

In short its well worth considering overseas buyers - but they need careful managing to deliver the best outcome.