White paper highlights key steps in exit planning

A white paper produced by Knight Corporate Finance provides a best practice guide for business owners in the comms sector who may be considering an exit.
The white paper takes a six step approach to helping potential sellers, focusing on where to start, timings, business value, readiness, approaches to selling and the role of an advisor in optimising all areas in the context of a managed competitive process.
"Business owners are often immersed in the day-to-day operations of their organisation therefore dedicate little time, if any, to understanding how to ultimately turn their ambition into reality," said Director Adam Zoldan (pictured left).
"Every client is different so everything we do is bespoke, and the first question we ask is always - what are your aspirations for your business?"
The white paper also underscores how sellers can reap a higher value by exiting within a fostered competitive environment (versus off-market deals) orchestrated by advisors such as Knight Corporate Finance.
"We generate competition among buyers," added Director Paul Billingham (pictured right). "This is part of a disciplined sales process involving a number of parties that we have qualified as having the means and motivation to complete a deal.
"Most of our 120 transactions completed as a result of our competitive sales process but we have concluded a number of off-market deals.
"More often than not these have proven successful where there has been a pre-existing relationship rather than a cold-contact.
"But even when terms are agreed there is still a lot of work to achieve a completion. The course of a transaction will last anywhere from four to nine months.
"Buyers and investors prefer off-market deals as there is no competition, but why would you not benchmark it against other options?"
Therefore taking steps towards an exit with cold feet should not be considered as a viable option, according to Zoldan and Billingham.
To help business owners prepare for a sale the corporate finance boutique has developed a bespoke product called Knight Vendor Assist which provides a dry run due diligence process.
"Knight Vendor Assist identifies any potential issues and addresses them away from the heat of a transaction," added Billingham.
That long-term planning is key to a successful exit is reflected in how Knight Corporate Finance engages with organisations, often before an exit plan is established, drawing out strategic ambitions and visions and matching those to value creating exit opportunities, according to Zoldan.
"Sometimes we start work on a deal from the start, but Knight often works with clients for months or years prior to a transaction," he added.
Download the Six Steps to Success white paper here

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