There are a myriad of reasons why you might look to sell your company: retirement, further resources are required to grow, or it is an opportunistic time. Whatever the reason, this is likely to be the pinnacle of your career as the amount of time and money invested into your business will come to fruition when it sells, securing the future for you and your family.
But what happens after a sale? The business which you have invested years into, and the place where you spent the majority of your time, has passed on to somebody else. You may have made a tidy sum of money from the sale, which many people would be satisfied with as they may never have to work again and be able to live in the lap of luxury, but once the holiday of a lifetime has been taken, what then?
And what about how the company will thrive going forward? This is maybe something that you have grown from the beginning, and you want to see its continued success, as well as ensure the future of your employees who have been loyal to you.
At Benchmark International, we understand that there is life after the sale of a business and so structure a shareholder’s exit to suit both them, and the welfare of the company going forward.
The following are companies which Benchmark International has sold and structured the deal to allow for a successful life after a sale for both the shareholder(s) and the business.
ROC Northwest had been established for nine years before the shareholders, Hilary and Glyn Waterhouse, decided to sell. They had built up a company which provided education, residential, and domiciliary care services to young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties, autism spectrum disorders, learning and physical disabilities, and those with challenging behaviour issues, from seven properties throughout the north west of the UK.
They had a vested interest in ensuring that the company was sold to the right acquirer, not just to ensure that the welfare of the young people in their care was maintained, but also to ensure that the staff that had been loyal to them remained in employment. As such, a large number of interested parties were presented to ROC Northwest and the shareholders were able to choose the acquirer which best fit their ideals. Commenting on the acquirer’s plans going forward, Glyn said:
“We actually sold the company to a firm called CareTech Holdings PLC. They wanted to keep our managers, they wanted to keep the staff, they wanted to keep the homes. In fact, they didn’t want to change anything about the business. It was very important because once you start a business from scratch, you want that business to succeed; you’ve got loyalty from your staff, and you want the staff to be in place and have their jobs, so it was very important that we found a buyer that followed that ethos and allowed us to continue the hard work that we were doing.”
The shareholders at ROC Northwest wished to sell the company as they were looking at other business opportunities and wanted to spend more time together as a family. As this was the case, Benchmark International negotiated a seven figure deal with the majority forming a cash payment on completion. Now, Hilary has been able to purchase an equine business and has a total of eleven horses, growing from two.
Label Express, a label production company based in Croydon, had seven shareholders all with differing exit plans. The majority shareholder was based in the Isle of Man and was looking to retire, but several wanted to remain with the business. Benchmark International worked with this, allowing some shareholders to cash out and leave and the others to cash out but still carry on within the business.
Commenting on this, Sales Director at Label Express, Simon Williams said:
“We had some fairly specific needs in terms of exit plans, and Benchmark International understood that and really knew how to present that to prospective buyers and really put us first in that sense.”
As some of the shareholders were carrying on in the business, they naturally did not want everything to change in terms of structure and employees and by Benchmark International sourcing private equity firm, Lynx Equity Limited, this satisfied the shareholders’ needs.
Ross Edlund, shareholder of upscale breakfast and lunch restaurant Skillets, wanted to sell his company as it was an opportunistic time. Benchmark International; therefore, facilitated a deal between Skillets and investment firm Rosser Capital Partners, a company that focuses on investing in small to mid-sized restaurants, consumer, and retail companies that demonstrate significant potential for growth.
The nature of the acquisition suited Edlund, as this allowed him to retain a minority ownership, securing his financial retirement when the time was right and the deal was structured in such a way that when the capital group sells the business, Edlund will benefit financially from this.
The acquisition has also allowed him to capitalise on his profitable business and expand even further, as since the acquisition a seventh store has been established.
Shareholder of Central EMS, a provider of advanced life support, basic life support, critical care and non-emergency transport options, Gary Coker, was looking to sell his company to pursue retirement plans. This was a hard decision, as he admitted that if he was 20 years younger, he would not have sold the company. He likened his company to a daughter, stating:
“Having a company is kind of like having a daughter. You raise the daughter, you feed her, you bring her through school, you teach her and then some young man comes along and takes her hand and she goes away with him. Well it’s much like that with a company. You live the company, you raise the company, you bring the company up, you put everything in. You are the company. And you get to the end and you say oh wait a minute, let me let the hand go and let’s see how this goes from here.”
Ensuring that ties were not cut completely, Benchmark International structured a deal so that Coker could partially retire, as he remained shareholder and CEO, which allows him to focus on implementing the long-term strategic plans and step back from the day-to-day business.
All four of the aforementioned companies wished to sell for different reasons – other business interests, for opportunistic reasons, differing shareholder needs, and retirement. Whatever the exit plan, Benchmark International can source the right buyer and structure the deal so that it suits your needs after the sale of the company.
WE ARE READY WHEN YOU ARE.
Call Benchmark International today if you are interested in an exit or growth strategy or if you are interested in acquiring.
Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350 / Smoot@BenchmarkCorporate.com
Europe: Carl Settle at +44 (0)161 359 4400 / Settle@BenchmarkCorporate.com
Africa: Anthony McCardle at +2721 300 2055 / McCardle@BenchmarkCorporate.com