Tag Archives: Sell side

sell your company


We are calling September the second resolution of the year. It is a special month in which you have a fresh start after the summer break. Fresh starts allow you to rethink which route you would like to take for the upcoming year. And an important question to have in mind might be when to sell your business.

A common September resolution for some businessmen is to sell their business as well as to buy other businesses. That being said, why not reflect on this for a moment?

Are you in the position to face the next round of new competitors and challenges? Do you feel prepared to adapt to the changes of your industry?

Or do you think that it is time to rest and enjoy the rewards of all your hard work?

There is no right or wrong answer, so let’s take a look at some important factors you have to take into account before deciding if you are ready to keep on going or if you want to throw in the towel.

If you are thinking you are ready for another round, take into account the need to incorporation new resources: if one finds themselves seeking an increase of capital to continue to be competitive, it is possible that the businessman is not willing to re-invest in the assets that they have already generated and extracted from the business.

There is no need to worry if this is the case since September is the month in which many individuals suchs as yourself want to sell and a lot of buyers are ready to make the move.

But the uphill is just beginning. This months’ wave encourages and inspires the appearance of new economic players with greater competitive capacities that will threaten the future of your business. These players tend to be from different geographic markets or products. If you don’t see yourself ready or wanting to fight new and powerful competition, then it will be wiser to make a smart choice and sell your business.

Seller and buyers are not the only ones rethinking their future, employees and teammates are too, therefore the loss of human capital becomes a risk.  If one is having trouble hiring, working together or keeping a team that is running the business, these are signs that it is time to sell your business. At this point, the owner does not have the will nor the strength to make the business grow at a rate that is of interest to other external directors.

September is the “icing on the cake”, because it is not just about one month, it is about the whole moment we are living now. Theoretically, for the next 30 days you are in a golden period to make a decision about selling your business.

Why? For many reasons, for example, interest rates have never been as low as now. Companies have never been worth so much. But the rates will inevitably rise again with inflation.

Also, money in the hands of venture capital is at record highs, central bank balance sheets are inflated and the liquidity of listed companies is causing a wave of sectoral consolidation. You know your sector. If the wave has started, it will change its competitive structure and the margins will suffer. The last ones that remain without participating in the consoloditation will not be able to survive.


We understand the implications and hard work you have invested these past years of your life into your company, and we understand that the challenges become bigger every year. Therefore we want to ensure that all your effort doesn’t stop where you stop.

That’s why ONEtoONE will help you to find the best buyer and solution to your situation. We aim and work hard to secure a trusted buyer and process; one with which you find yourself comfortable and happy, and that will let you focus on your new life plans without worry.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want more information about how to take on this important step in every businessman´s journey.

business acquisition

Business acquisition: Kinepolis reaches agreement to acquire Spanish cinema group El Punt

The Benelux and Spanish teams of ONEtoONE Corporate Finance are pleased to announce the success of a new advised business acquisition. Kinepolis Group, a pioneering enterprise within the cinema industry, has acquired two cinema complexes belonging to Group El Punt.

As a result of this transaction, Kinepolis acquires the `Full Cinemas´ megaplex in Barcelona, the second-largest cinema in Spain, which has 28 screens, 2,687 seats and welcomes more than 1.3 million cinema-goers every year. In addition, Kinepolis gets `El Punt Rivera´ in Valencia, which has 10 screens, 2,528 seats and attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually.

Prior to this business acquisition, Kinepolis Group already had 6 cinemas in Spain. Following the latest transaction, the company will run the three biggest cinemas in Spain: Kinepolis Ciudad de la Imagen in Madrid, Full in Barcelona and Kinepolis Valencia. In total, Kinepolis Group currently operates 97 cinemas (45 of which it owns) worldwide, with a total of 852 screens and more than 185,000 seats.

“This acquisition reaffirms ONEtoONE´s expertise in cross-border transactions, thus providing extra value to build-up processes.”

– Dominique Gazel-Anthoine, Managing Partner at ONEtoONE Spain

“This acquisition demonstrates the strength of our international network to initiate and advise meaningful M&A transactions for Belgian corporates. Our local approach is also very appreciated by Board and ExCo members during the negotiations.”

– Antoine van den Abeele, Managing Partner at ONEtoONE


Find out in our article how to attract more clients as an M&A advisor!

negotiating with investors

Negotiating with investors: 10 keys

The process of negotiating with investors implies many factors that have to be well managed to achieve the desired outcomes.There is no magic recipe for successful negotiations with potential investors, however and if you want to negotiate like an expert, the following key points will help you to get closer to your goals.

1. Understand what you really want and what your aspirations are when negotiating with investors

Goals give you direction but clear expectations will give you the strength to negotiate because you will have convinced yourself that you deserve it. As American president Lyndon Johnson said, “what convinces is conviction.”

2. Failure to prepare yourself equals preparing yourself for failure

Preparation is 99% of the success. Many negotiations fail due to the lack of preparation.
It is essential that you discover during the process what the investment opportunity represents for the buyer: Why does he want to buy? Which ones are his restrictions? What are his economic motives? Why does he need your company? What does he intend to do with it? How much does he expect to gain?

Find out more about the search for investors here.

3. Reach an agreement with the ‘best’ alternative you have

A good agreement requires having good alternatives. If you lack alternatives you lack bargaining power which the buyer will exploit to obtain concessions from you. Although this seems obvious, often an entrepreneur negotiates with a single buyer: How do you know if this is the right buyer? Is this the buyer to whom your company creates the most value or the one who can pay the highest price? Only a good search method for alternatives will provide with answers to these questions.

4. A good negotiator asks a lot, speaks little and is a good listener

Share information, but above all, get information. Ask twice as many questions, seek clarification of the answers, and summarize what you have heard to verify that your understanding is correct.

negotiating with investors

5. A good negotiator builds trust, and never lies

Do not build expectations that cannot be fulfilled and keep your promises. You will gain the respect of the other party when being reliable. Lies eventually will be uncovered and undermine confidence, which increases the risk premium.

6. Create the optimal conditions for a good negotiation before meeting with the other party at the negotiating table

This is achieved by making sure the right people are in the room, with the correct expectations, at the most favorable moment for you, and that you have the best alternatives when there is no agreement. And of course, never improvise!

Prepare an overview of the various interests of all parties participating in the negotiations. Is there someone who can torpedo the operation because of other interests? How can you influence them to be supportive? Keep an eye on the people involved and their personal interests. Determine who on the other side values the operation most, and get that person to participate actively in the negotiations.

Discover more on negotiation techniques here.

7. Identify the real decision maker

Alongside the interests of the investing entity there are the interests of the people who are negotiating. Find out who is the ultimate decision maker and what his/her personal interests, needs, and desired outcomes are. Ask yourself about the negotiator: Does (s)he have the authority to close a deal?

8. Have a sincere interest in the objectives of the other party

This will help that he in return also cares about your objectives, and creates the best mutually beneficial solution. Remember that by creating empathy you create a favourable climate for ‘grow the pie’ thinking. Be tough on your demands but affectionate with the person.

” Negotiating with investors is a game of information and information gives you power. You must seek to understand their needs rather than their wants.

9. Power is a very relative concept

In negotiations the power depends on your alternatives and the alternatives of the other party.

Remember that in a negotiation with investors 50% is emotion. Check the real power of the other party; usually it is being overestimated. Perceptions are crucial in negotiations, and it is essential to understand them well. Situational power is based on perceptions, not facts. Therefore, be aware of the signs you transmit.

10. A good negotiator is able to grow the pie rather than fight for the biggest piece

You will maximize your outcome when guaranteeing that both parties will achieve their objectives. The first step to grow the pie is to believe that a deal is possible.

Negotiating with investors is a game of information, therefore the best negotiators are focused on receiving information rather than giving information. When you better understand the needs of the other party, then you will find items that are very important to them but have less value for you. You can exchange these for items which are important to you but have less value for them.

And above all remember that in a negotiation that affects you, if you’re not at the negotiating table, you’re probably on the menu. If you are considering a corporate transaction and wish to prepare a good negotiation, do not hesitate to contact our advisors.

Steps to Selling a Business - Are You Prepared?

Steps to Selling a Business

Selling a business requires a very carefully thought out process that must be extremely well organized, and as such, this process contains a vital three-phase sequence: the preparation of the company’s documentation, the marketing of the company and ultimately, the negotiation with the buyers.

The process will usually last between 9 and 12 months, although there are frequent examples of when complications are experienced and this timeframe can expand significantly. With this in mind, there have been operations that have lasted several years, however if the process is genuinely respected and well organised, then one can go about ensuring that the timeframe will not go beyond the 9 to 12 length.

1. The Preparation of the Documentation for selling a business

In the process of preparation, there must be the creation of three significant documents:

1. A sales notebook, otherwise considered a memorandum of information, in which it presents the competitive advantages of the company, its capital structure, as well as the relevant financial projections and figures.

2. The company valuation. This document will outline the company’s value drivers, as well as additional elements that will assist negotiations in the final phase of the process.

3. An extended blind teaser of the company is also necessary in order to address and inform potential buyers about the general concepts of the company. This document, as is hinted in the name, ensures the anonymity of the company being sold until the potential buyers sign a confidentiality document called a non-disclosure agreement.

2. The marketing of the company

For this phase of the process, one must first create a mapping document of all possible worldwide buyers. As such, it is very common that the best buyer for your company is not the one that you have in mind. With this in mind, you have to consider that the buyer might not always be located domestically, or be a direct competitor of yours; taking this a step further, the buyer might not even come from the affiliated sector of your company.

For example, we once had a case of a logistics company in the pharmaceutical sector, which we did not sell to a fellow pharmaceutical company. Rather, we sold it to a company that focused on hospitals. We were able to do so because we had analyzed the corporate operations that had recently taken place in the world, and in turn, we found that there had been an instance where a transaction between a hospital and a logistics company for pharmacies had occured. This information gave us a valuable insight into the trends and thought processes that were taking place in other international markets. As a result, as we have suggested is possible, the buyer ended up being a company from a different sector.

Once the best potential buyers are found, it is time to contact the CEOs or top management of the selected company. These companise have been selected largely because they have been perceived to be the best fit for your company, and the ones that will be able to offer the highest price.

This process, which is often conducted by professional advisors, is one that can be considered to be long and laborious. However, in taking this additional time, it can be ensured that the buyer and seller are transparent with each other, share the information necessary, along with their updated perceptions and feelings toward the potential operation.

The negotiation with the buyers

Once you receive your indicative offers, this is when you begin the process of negotiation with respect to what has been offered, and how you wish to potentially adapt them. It is important to not only try find the company’s that is going to pay you the highest price, but also focus on who will be the best managerial fit for your company, as well as who will present the optimal payment method according to your needs.

As such, there are many differing elements that come together during a negotiation. Once there is an agreement with your selected buyer, this is when the official letter of intent is signed. At this point in time, the strength and significance of the negotiations get taken to a new level, as there is now a mindset that an agreement regarding a deal will arrive.

After this letter of intent, there is the necessary process of due diligence; a sometimes tedious but extremely important process that everyone should conduct before buying a company. This process sees the holistic analysis of the target company’s legal, fiscal, labor, legal, environmental and financial situation. As such, a complete analysis of the company is necessary because once acquired, any contingencies that this company may have will become the responsibility and problem of the buyer and therefore, the acquirer should try to prevent or adequately prepare for them as best as possible.

After finalising the due diligence, this leads to another negotiation process. This particular negotiation covers the likes of how to deal with contingencies, ascertaining various guarantees and finally, the revered sale and purchase agreement. However, there one cannot take the sale and purchase agreement for granted. As such, it is a process that can last up to a year and is extremely technical. Therefore, it is essential that you use experienced advisors for this phase, ones that have gone through the process many times and know exactly how to anticipate problems that are likely to arise.

Remember that the buyer will also be accompanied by very experienced advisors. As a result, especially if you are a first time seller, you should not face these experienced advisors and buyers without an experienced team that you can have absolute confidence in. With these trusty advisors on your team, you will be assured that interests will be defended and that you will be guided effectively through the process.

As is detailed, the process of selling a process is a long and extensive one. In trying to complete it alone, you risk becoming lost in the process or simply losing the motivation to get through it all. Unless you truly feel that you know how to maximise the price of your company, it is recommended that you seek out professional advisors with experience in this process. If you feel that you fall into this bracket, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of trusty advisors.


Selling Your Family Business - Is It time?

Family Business – Is It time to sell?

Are family businesses ever actually sold? The short answer is yes, but they typically incur a cost that goes beyond a price-tag. Many family business transactions end up breaking the resistance of the family, and can resultantly cause significant internal rifts. As such, it is traits such as stubbornness and having an emotional connection to the company that often prevents one from objectively appreciating the competitive dynamics of the sector, and in many cases, generate a vicious circle that ends with the life, closing or bad sale of what was once a magnificent organization.

With this in mind, family businesses will only typically be sold when there are genuinely potent reasons for the transaction; health problems, strong discrepancies between the family members due to management, old age, urgent need for capital injection, clear technological obsolescence, a diminishing profitability or a strong process of concentration in the sector. As such, many family business owners make the mistake of delaying a necessary decision: an acquisition, a recapitalization, a merger or even a sale when there is no clear succession in the family and the manager enters the age of retirement.

The emotional difficulty of transitioning to new investors when selling your family business often causes family businesses to borrow too much, causing liquidity problems as soon as a business ncycle change occurs. This happened to thousands of family businesses during the last financial crisis, which in turn saw the end to so many family enterprises, robbing the kin of their precious family assets.

The Time to Sell Your Family Business is Now

Currently we are in a historic moment for Spain, in which we are going to experience the longest period of intergenerational transfer of private companies in history: The “Baby Boomers” have to retire. In most cases, their children or “Generation X” (those born between 1965 and 1980), have had more sophisticated education and have opted to work in large companies. Behind them come the “Millennials”, a generation that claims to be the least enterprising in recent history.


This lack of desire to be entrepreneurs by the next generations will enhance a phenomenon of concentration, making our business fabric more resistant when the next crisis comes; and rest assured, it will come.

Many entrepreneur “Baby boomers” have lived to work, have hardly developed hobbies and are faced with the vertigo of not knowing what they will do with their time when they retire. Therefore, they resist selling the company, complicating its future viability. Thus we find that 70% of family businesses do not pass on to the next generation.

Planning is Crucial

The high mortality of companies is due, among other reasons, to the lack of planning for a transition towards a competent succesor when selling your family business, the failure or exhaustion of a business or a sector, family difficulties, fights between partners, a lack of capital or a lack of financing.

Many of these closures could have been avoided if the entrepreneur knew how to choose the right time to part with their company.

In recent years, competitive pressures have accelerated the need to be quick to identify the opportune time to part with the company. Every company has an optimal time to be sold. It is vital to strive to know and be aware of it and then not regret it.


Business families must be alert to perceive the warning signs and, in case of need, know how to put the icing on a long process of creating value by way of culminating it through a magnificent sales operation. M&A consists of a long and complex process that must be approached with patience. Don’t hsitate to contact us!


Best Retirement Options for Business Owners: Selling the Company

Retirement Options: Selling the Company

To retire off the back of selling one’s company remains one of the quintessential dreams of any entrepreneur, but such an outcome does not simply arise from having a successful business. Some owners delay the process of succession until it’s too late. So, when is the right time to retire? In this article we will analyze the best retirement options for business owners, focusing on selling the company.

Many businessmen who founded their company in the 80’s find themselves stuck due to their heirs not wanting to continue on with the business, either because of their varying interests or because of family conflicts that need to be avoided. Other times,  it’s the owner’s son or wife that has a conflict with company partners or the directive team and in turn, the businessman anticipates a conflict once he is due to pass the business on.

When is the right time to consider your retirement options?

Like everything in life, preparation hold’s 99% of the key to success. If the business owner observes that his family members are unfit to continue the business, the owner must be proactive in the search for a buyer.

It is a big mistake to wait for a buyer to appear. It is unlikely to happen, and when it does , it is rare that they are the best fit. More often than not, it is likely that they will bargain an undervalued price in an aggressive negotiation, all under the premise that you do not have any other alternative.

The risk that an owner takes is that as time passes, the will to continue the business wears off, and this in turn transitions into the rest of the team. This means that the business will begin to deteriorate, as the leader is becoming less interested in the project, whilst emitting less energy and enthusiasm for the company. The employees are the ones that suffer the consequences.

Why you need a plan

Just like athletes, businessmen need to know and admit to themselves when it’s time to retire. The difference here is that unlike an athlete, a business owner must have a long-term retirement and succession plan in mind, potentially several years before it is time to retire. Selling a business is a professional process that takes time, and there is nothing more important in a business’ professional’s life than that of their company’s sale.

As Saint Paul says in his letter to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” It is crucial that a business owner prepares his retirement in such a way that he can finish selling his business in a strong condition. He will have the satisfaction that his mission was accomplished and to have placed the cherry on top off a process that creates value and ends in a magnificent operation.


Finding not just any buyer, but rather the buyer that will create the most value for your company; one that gives off the best image, adequately manages communication, classifies business by what will bring the most value and enjoys good alternatives with other possible buyers. It is crucial so that the operation has widespread and ongoing success. If you are ready to retire and need to sell your business, don’t hesitate to contact us!


10 Reasons to sell a business

10 Reasons to Sell a Business

Sectors are in constant dynamism such as new technologies (3D printing or big data), new forms of logistics and changes in the habits of consumers. These are a few examples of disruptions that cause the need to look ahead for the sale of one’s business.

A businessman must be aware of his environment, its causes and effects in respect to its business’s framework, to not be hindered. One must be ready to reinvent themselves if possible, or be ready to sell in case of an unfavorable outcome. Listed will be warning signs of when it is time to sell.

1. Concentration in the sector: mergers and acquisitions represent, in most cases, the least costly route to modify, globally, the structure of a sector. There will be a concentration of providers and competitors and your business will be left without any scale and your leeway will continue to be minimized.

2. The appearance of new economic players with greater competitive capacities that will threaten the future of your business. These players tend to be from different geographic markets or products. In these cases, selling the company while it continues to be relevant could be a wiser choice than waiting until your competitor takes over your clients and the market.

3. Declining profit, due to having little to no products that were developed or distinct. Having a scarce amount of development is a clear reason to reflect upon a sale. The business is suffering a progressive deterioration of its balance. Many times instead of creating profit one is diminishing it.

4. Growth, in some cases is precisely the problem. When a company takes on a larger size that was not foreseen, it creates a conflict with management because the company was not prepared for it. It is prefered to sell off to a larger business or one with greater management capacities.

5. The need to internationalize or relocate the business (so it can be competitive), puts the owner in a tough situation, causes the owner to sell the business before the decline becomes greater. The businessman sees how relevant competitors are relocating to different countries and he cannot do it himself.

6. The loss of human capital: if one is having trouble hiring, working together or keeping a team that is running the business, these are signs that it is time to sell your business. At this point, the owner does not have the will or strength to try and make the business grow at a rate that is of interest of other external directors.

7. The loss of important clients: this can be a sign that one is losing competitive strength or that the company is in need of new ideas or new strategies.

8. Clients are doing vertical integration: they are buying from our competitors and they stop buying from your business.

9. The need for the incorporation of new resources: if one finds themselves seeking an amplification of capital to continue to be competitive. It is possible that the businessman, especially if they are near the end of their career, is not willing to re-invest in the assets that they have already generated and extracted from the business and prefers to let go as a whole.

10. Detach from unprofitable divisions, to the ones that can no longer receive more resources, that do not fit in to the company’s competitive strategy or that needs to be sold to obtain liquidity and sustain the main business.

Upon the narrowing of margens that cause companies to be liquidated with foreign companies, that are more competitive, for cost, size or investigation capacity, development or innovation, many businesses end up needing formulas to reduce costs via productive synergies with other similar companies to obtain market cuotas sufficient enough to generate economic scales.


In the last years, the change in velocity has accelerated the need to be quick to identify the right time to detach yourself from the business. The key is in acting before it is too late. Act now and make the right decision, you may need help from experienced advisors. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a strategic advisory!


How to Sell a Business: 10 Common Mistakes

Selling a Business: 10 Common Mistakes

Those who founded their companies in the 70s and 80s are entering retirement age. In many cases, their children have chosen other paths, leaving them without a generational relay. This coincides with the current great liquidity, economic optimism and low interest rates, which is leading to many sales of companies in our country. The usual thing is that, if it is the first time that an entrepreneur sells his company, it is easy to make mistakes due to inexperience. Since selling a business is much more complex than it may seem, we would like to point out ten mistakes that many entrepreneurs make when selling. Avoiding them will not only allow them to complete the operation, but it will help them maximize their income.

10 common mistakes when selling a business

1 Do not make a firm assessment of the company

If the employer does not know what the company really is worth, because it is difficult to negotiate with rational arguments. It could be asking for an unreal price and therefore losing prospective buyers willing to pay a possible price.

Negotiating on a basis of desires and not the objective data often leads to the breakdown of negotiations. If we only look at our desires, and do not make the effort to understand the value we bring to the other side, we can hardly negotiate with quality.

2 Change interests or motivations during the sales process 

A previous and serene reflection on why we sell and what we want to do after the sale is fundamental. If the employer is not clear, his own emotions can betray him and harm the operation.

The buyer may notice strange things in the owners’ attitude and this will generate concern, interpret that they are not being sincere, that they are hiding information (he doesn’t know the internal struggle of feelings) and begin to distrust the operation. It triggers their perception of risk and inevitably lowers the value assigned to the company.

3 Negotiate with a single buyer

In a negotiation with a single buyer, he always finds out that he is alone. In those cases, the buyer plays with the time and the wear and tear, thus lengthening the deadlines by requesting more and more concessions.

4 Not managing the process with confidentiality

The lack of confidentiality can cause key managers to abandon the ship and create uncertainty in the market about the future of the company. After the time different actors comment “This company must have problems because it has been on sale since time without success”, undermining the perceived value of the company.

5 Facing only the process, not hiring advisors

The sale of a company is a laborious process that consumes many hours; It requires professional advisors who have experienced this type of situation many times and know how to disable the traps that the buyer tends. Entrepreneurs must focus on improving the company’s results, while monitoring the advisors and demanding that they be informed of each step they take. Without advisers it is very difficult to maintain confidentiality and to make a rigorous search process of the best possible buyer for the company.

6 Dismissing the business during the sale

Experience has shown me that if the owner only negotiates, negotiations with buyers are often irreparably broken. There can be a situation that, at a time in the process, the seller realizes that he has made a mistake and that there is no turning back and that will harm the value. Because of this, the rope is tense in the negotiation and it evidently ends up breaking.

The result is that the owner must start a new buyer search process, which implies neglecting the company even more.

7 Find the buyer in the local area

If you look for confidentiality, this is probably not the best option. Nor is it clear that prospective national buyers are the best buyers or those to whom the company can create more value, nor the ones that can pay more for it.



8 Do not assume that there are other minority shareholders

It is fundamental that there is an alignment of all the shareholders, thus avoiding last minute surprises that lead to the fret of the operation after the costs are incurred and so much work has been developed by all parties.

It’s a mistake to think “they’ll get into the operation when I tell the minority shareholders, they sure will be happy to sell.” We need for those people to share the things that affect us because we don’t like to be taken for granted.

9 Wanting to sell in a hurry 

Hastiness is very bad counselor. It greatly undermines the negotiating and search process of the best buyer. The other party notices the rush. On one hand, it will arouse mistrust, and on the other, you will give him margins to press in with demands.

10 Do not plan the process

An orderly sales process maximizes the value. The disorder causes them to lose pieces of value in each of the phases. When the disorder arises, so do the surprises for the buyer and these are always seen as elements of risk that make them lower their perceived value on the company.

Experience indicates that an unplanned sales process is much longer and, given the complexity of selling a company, the chances of failure skyrocket.


For many entrepreneurs selling a business is the most important operation of their lives, so avoiding these mistakes is of vital importance for your company and for your assets. To take the right decisions, you may need help from experienced advisors. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a strategic advisory!


Is This the Best Time to Sell a Business?

Sell a Business: Is This the Best Time?

Many business owners are breathing easier because their companies are growing again in billing and profits. Until recently they thought of selling and resting or retiring, of moving to a less turbulent lifestyle. Now they are being to doubt. They no longer know whether to sell the business or launch themselves into an investment.

In the world of buying and selling companies, the best thing is to go against the grain. When you no longer feel like it, it’s usually the best time to do it.

The three reasons that indicate that we are in the best moment to begin the process of selling a company are:

Top moment of a bullish economic cycle. How this affects to sell a business

The most advisable thing is to sell a business at a peak moment of a bullish economic cycle. There is more abundance of money, the stock markets are at historic highs and buyers are much more optimistic. In these times of economic boom it is easier for buyers to finance themselves to acquire, either through banks or by issuing corporate data, which allows them to pay even more.

Interest rates are at historical minimums

An external element that is vital to determine the value of a company are the interest rates. If the rates are low, companies are worth more mathematically.

Interest rates have never been as low as now. Companies have never been worth so much. The rates will inevitably rise again with inflation.

Ocean of unprecedented liquidity

A radical set of policies to get out of the 2008 financial crisis has provoked an ocean of liquidity of unprecedented proportions. Money in the hands of venture capital is at record highs, central bank balance sheets are inflated and the liquidity of listed companies is causing a wave of sectoral concentration. You know your sector. If the wave has started, it will change its competitive structure and the margins will suffer more. The last ones that remain without participating in the concentration will not be able to hold on.

The sale of a company is one of the most important decisions that an entrepreneur makes in his business life. On many occasions, although he has powerful reasons to do so, he looks for excuses and arguments not to take that first step. Indecisiveness is an attitude that also has consequences.

If an entrepreneur resolves to deal with the sale or search for investors for his company, my recommendation is to not look for a buyer, but to look for the one who creates the most value for the company and its employees; according to my experience, it will most likely be a foreign group, since they will have less redundancy, it will give them more space for growth and they will appreciate the added value offered by accessing a new market.

Add Value by Finding the Right Buyer

Many business owners will sell to the first buyer without taking into account other potential options. As such, when selling your business it is important to ask specific questions. Is this really the right buyer? Will this entity pay more for the business than anyone else?

Business owners often rely on a lawyer or an auditor to look for potential buyers and investors without considering that 70% of the deal value lies in finding a suitable buyer. Hence, it is essential to find a buyer that is the best strategic fit and will pay the most for your business. To maximize the value of your company, you or the advisors must engage in a rigorous search process to find buyers or investors who can deliver the highest synergies for your business and those with the strongest financial profile.

Moreover, the best buyer is not always the closest or most obvious. The best counterpart for your company could be for example, from a different sector located on the other side of the world.

ONEtoONE insight – how we added value

Once, in ONEtoONE Corporate Finance, we advised a company that generated ten million euros each year. The company had two million euros in operating income (EBITDA) and six million in financial debt. We found a buyer in the same country (Spain) whose company earned double of what this other company earned, but had accumulated a lot of debt. This entity was interested in buying the company, offering to buy it for six times the operative income, which meant that discounting the company’s debt; the potential buyer was willing to pay six million euros for the selling company. As the potential buyer did not have enough capital up front to pay for the company, they offered to pay two million at the time of the sale and the rest of the four million over the upcoming years.

We also found a German buyer with a turnover double that of the sellings company’s, but contrary to the Spanish buyer, they did have financial capability. Given that it was an international operation and the German company did not have a presence in Spain, it offered to pay a higher price for the company. They offered to pay seven times the operating income, (that after subtracting debt, it valued the company at eight million euros) and also planned to pay for the company in deferred payments, paying six million at the start and the rest of the two million over a two year period.

We then attracted a third buyer, a Canadian company with a turnover of more than a billion euros, from which they earned a total of 100 million with no debt. The company saw many synergies with our client and at the time, they did not have any presence in Europe. They had a lot of interest in the company and offered to pay ten times the operating income of the company after subtracting the debt, which left the buying price set at fourteen million.

If we were to have sold it to the Spanish firm, the firm could have come up with excuses not to repay the remaining four million euros and could have ended up paying just two million for the company. The Canadian company paid seven times more.

Identifying the right buyer

For your company, you should look for a buyer that gives you synergies and has a lot of cash in hand, without minding so much about its location. If the buyer can perceive the true added value of your company, they will be willing to pay more for your business.

So, how can you find the best buyer who will pay the most for your company?

Around the world there are more than 120 million companies, with more than 600 risk capitals and more than 50000 Family Offices.

To start you must follow a few steps:

1. You must know what you want: In order to find the best buyer you need to know what you are looking for. You should also know the buyer and how they operate their corporations. Start with a generic search and then narrow it down into a specific search to find more concrete information.

2. Analyze and filter the results. There are many companies that can buy your company but you need to narrow it down to a single one. This can take a very long time. Start by filtering and if needed, find a company to help you with this process of analysis.

3. Get in touch with the companies. You may have to contact 200 firms or more, and it unfortunately, it will take a long time. So how do you become more efficient? If there is a search for an appropriate mediator, then the target must be analyzed. When the target is contacted there is then more speed to the process. Lastly, analyze the information being monitored by the client.


Finding not just any buyer, but rather the buyer that will create the most value for your company; one that gives off the best image, adequately manages communication, classifies business by what will bring the most value and enjoys good alternatives with other possible buyers. It is crucial so that the operation has widespread and ongoing success. If you are ready to sell your business, don’t hesitate to contact us!