It’s essential to have a clear-eyed view of how acquisitions work because, sometimes, they don’t.
At New Direction Partners, we often advise selling owners of printing businesses to be prepared to stay on in one role or another after the transaction closes. Because keeping a hand in the business at the new owner’s request is a given in so many deals, it’s helpful to have some idea of what the responsibility is going to entail and what psychological adjustments are going to be needed along the way.
Do you, as the owner of a printing business, have a plan for no longer being the owner of that business?
Given the current robust health of the M&A marketplace there’s a good fit out there somewhere for every seller and buyer.
On the whole, 2017 is shaping up as an encouraging time for business.
It’s no surprise to see wide-format shops attracting their fair share of attention in the M&A marketplace. We’ve represented a number of them as sellers in transactions this year, and they make an interesting contrast with our commercial printing and packaging clients.
Joint owners will have a little more planning to do in order to be ready for the eventual sale of their company.
With some tact and advance planning on a buyer’s part, the welcome given to the seller’s staff can be both friendly and businesslike.
Once you’ve decided to sell or to acquire another firm, your best negotiating tactic is to let someone else handle some of it for you.
It’s said that in business, timing is everything. In an acquisition, it’s many things: some of them controllable, others not necessarily up to the principals. Make the deal clock keep the right time for you by being clear about your objectives and reasonable about your expectations.
In some ways, owning a printing company you intend to sell is like investing in the stock market. Because the value of what you own can fluctuate unpredictably, waiting for a market "peak" before you act can be a needlessly risky thing to do. It’s better to begin working with your M&A advisor so that when the right offer comes along at the right time, you will be ready.
More borrowing options exist now than was the case a few years ago. The best way to connect with them is to get expert advice from a source that knows the printing industry and its financing requirements. A qualified advisor can vet private equity lenders, streamline dealings with banks and generally make capital for equipment purchase or business acquisition more accessible. That way, you'll leave no money on tables you may not even have known were there.
In M&As, good faith is everything, and it begins with your everyday outreach to the people who work for you. Keep on finding opportunities to let them know that you value their contributions and that you have their backs today and in the long term. That way, when the time comes to share your plans with the workforce as a whole, the things you’ll want to say most will go without saying.
Calling the M&A market “hot to trot” would be an exaggeration at this point, but there are good reasons to think that fewer players are suffering from cold feet. Interest in transactions is picking up. Banks are more open to proposals for funding M&As.