For such an important matter that is a certainty few owners properly plan their exits. Surveys reveal that 90% of business owner’s net worth tied up in their company but only 25% have engaged in formal financial planning. Focus on running a company’s day to day operations is not conducive to it. 75% of owners do not have an exit plan while it 66% are not actually fully aware of their exit options. If you are not familiar with a GRAT you may fall into this category. Most feel that preparing for a sale begins 12 months in advance. We believe owners should begin planning 3 – 5 years in advance. The years after your business’s transition should be the most rewarding stage in your life.
When owners go to market they often do not appreciate the challenges faced or the pre-planning required to achieve their exit goals. Between 2020 and 2030 sellers will face an entirely new challenge – massive amounts of competition. Baby boomers dominate business ownership. 3 out of 4 companies will change ownership during this time. 4.5 million Businesses representing $10 trillion of wealth will transition to a shrinking buyer pool. It will be a more pronounced buyer’s market than we have experienced in the past, so only the most prepared sellers and the most attractive companies will distinguish themselves.
A remaining challenge is related to the effective cost of acquisition capital. To purchase a privately held company effective interest rates are in the 20% – 30% range. By comparison, public entities’ costs are in the 6% – 8% range. For aggressive owners who prefer to retain control and potentially achieve a higher valuation we have developed innovate solutions that allow this capital market inefficiency to be arbitraged. You may learn more about this in our Boutique Investment Banking Services section.
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