Focus Business Sales & Acquisitions Ltd

Buying a Business

A Guiding Hand

When people are buying houses they commission engineers to carry out surveys to assess the soundness of the structures.  How much more difficult then is it to carry out an investigation of a business where the assets may be intangible?  How much more difficult is it to value a business and how important is it to ensure that you protect yourself from hidden liabilities?

We can guide you through the process of raising finance, identifying suitable businesses for purchase, assessing and valuing the businesses, negotiating the deal and developing the legal agreements.  We can “hold your hand” during the buying process and carry out a lot of the leg work to enable you to continue running your existing businesses profitably.

8 Key Buying Steps

1.  The Big Questions – what are your motives for buying?; which sectors / location are you interested in? etc.

2.  Financing – have you the go-ahead from your bank or financial backers?; what is their appetite and experience of acquisitions? etc.

3.  Interested in a particular business?  What are the synergies? How soon will the acquisition contribute profits? Etc.

4.  The Search – at any given time we usually have over 100 businesses on our books for sale; we have access to databases with details of most businesses in Ireland and the UK; we can carry out targeted searches by industry sector / size / location to identify owners who wish to sell but who may not have put their businesses on the market.

5.   The Initial Assessment – are these buyers really serious or are they just testing the market? Are you buying the shares or the assets? Don’t rely on the target’s financial statements.

6.   Valuing the business – sustainability of earnings; underlying assets; industry multiples; what can you bring to the business? Etc.

7.   The negotiations – what is included in the deal; what guarantees do you need? Cash deal or cash and shares; deferred payment? Earn out?  At all times be discreet.

8.  Concluding the deal – Maintain good relations with the seller. Letter of Intent, Due Diligence, Heads of Agreement, Sales & Purchase Agreement, Completion.