Selling your business:

a guide for founders and management teams

After a challenging 2023, there are signs the M&A market is entering a new phase. 

Macroeconomic conditions are easing, with inflation moderating and interest rates stabilising. Corporate balance sheets are strong. And in private equity there are record levels of dry powder awaiting deployment, as well as increasing pressure for investors to generate liquidity from existing assets.

The pace of recovery remains uncertain, particularly given the political backdrop of 2024, but one thing is clear: the companies that come out on top will be those that are well-prepared and can move quickly to capitalise on opportunities.

With a rich history of helping companies across all stages of their lifecycle, from set up and early stage funding all the way through to exit and beyond, we have a unique insight into the issues that founders and management teams often encounter when they come to sell their businesses.

This guide distils our experience from countless deals and expertise across multiple practice areas – from M&A, Private Equity, Intellectual Property, Tax and Incentives, Employment, and Private Wealth – to help founders prepare for and successfully navigate an M&A sale process.

What you can expect

  • Preparing for sale: We start with the preparatory steps you should be taking to "get your house in order" before launching a sale process, as well as looking ahead to potential hurdles or blockers to closing a deal, such as regulatory approvals.
  • Understanding potential buyers: Your universe of potential buyers can have a significant impact on the shape, structure, and speed of a deal. We explore the unique features and potential challenges of some of the different types of buyers: private equity, strategic, and US.
  • Tax strategy & wealth planning: Getting the tax structuring right is essential to maximise the value you take home. We explain the tax treatment of different deal structures, including earn-outs and rolled equity, highlighting some of the pitfalls and points for negotiation along the way. We also discuss the personal tax planning steps you should be thinking about now, ahead of any potential windfall.
  • Navigating the sales process: We also tackle the practicalities of getting your deal over the line – what happens at each stage, what agreements you need, and what a split signing and completion entails. Running a smooth sale process takes real skill and planning from your lawyers and bankers, particularly an auction with multiple bidders where competitive tension needs to be maintained.

Access the guide

If you have any questions about this guide or need help with your sale process, please do get in touch with our contacts below.

Selling your business: a guide for founders and management teams

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