Business Acquisition Financing – Beware of Advisors

Business acquisition financing is right up there with your basic root canal. It may be necessary but it most certainly is not fun.

In fact the overall process for acquiring an ongoing business can be a mind sucking affair, very expensive,and in the end unfruitful.

Why is the process so frustrating?

The answer in many cases is the advisors involved.

That’s right, the very people that are paid to complete the deal, are the same ones that kill it.

Let me explain.

All deals have two sides, a buyer and a seller. Both sides have to rely on their third party advisors for advise on such things as legal, valuation, taxation, finance, etc.

Unfortunately, the business acquisition financing issues do not tend to be dealt with in the construction of the purchase and sale agreement, creating sometimes unworkable issues for potential lenders.

When buyers and sellers rely heavily on advisors, there is automatically less chance for the deal to succeed. Why? Because it can be impossible for both sides to agree or reconcile issues between the advisors without great cost and time delays.

The advisors are commissioned by their clients to protect the client’s best interest. But in this process of protection, it can be very difficult to get both sides to agree on all issues as both groups of advisors are coming at each issue from the opposite point of view. The result is a deal between buyer and seller in principal that can’t get closed.

Even when the purchase and sale agreement does get finalized, there may be terms and conditions that are now not acceptable to your source or sources of business acquisition financing.

If the agreement has to be reworked for the lender, this can be the beginning of the end as it may have already taken the powers of heaven and earth to get everything agreed to and signed off the first time. Making revisions can be like opening Pandora’s box with no hope of ever getting it closed again.

If this all sounds bleak and depressing, it certainly can be.

The stark reality is that if you’re going to buy or sell a small business you need to self educate yourself to some degree before you get started.

Here are some points to consider:

>>> Approach the deal on a Win – Win basis. Too often in deal making, one side is trying to pull a fast one on the other and try to come out better that they otherwise would have.

This is a dangerous strategy because no matter what you and the other party agree to in principle, the advisors will weigh in at some point and likely uncover any inequity that was created in the negotiations. Not only does the deal now become more complicated as a new basis for agreement needs to be established, but there may also be distrust forming between the parties, either of which could end up killing the deal.

>>> Be the decision maker. There is nothing wrong with getting advise from advisors when trying to close a deal and arrange business acquisition financing. Just don’t turn all the decision making authority over to the advisors. Take all the counsel as input and then decide for yourself what issues to bend on and which issues are sacred cows.

>>> Select Deal Makers. Make sure that advisors you chose to work with (lawyers, accountants, business consultants) are deal makers not deal breakers. A working definition of a deal maker is simply someone who has a lengthy track record for closing the type of deal you are trying to consummate. These individuals have a combination of the right technical ability, relevant experience, and ego control necessary to truly add value for the money you’re going to have to pay them if the deal closes or not.

>>> Pre-Qualify the business acquisition financing requirements. Make sure that the buyer has the means to acquire financing. The buyer typically needs to have 1/3 to 1/2 the purchase price as a down payment, depending on the industry and the hard assets being acquired. Good credit and a solid net worth can also be requirements for suitable financing. The seller needs to be prepared to work with different financing options before getting too deep into due diligence. Will a vendor take back be required? How long is the vendor willing to assist with the business after sale? How much working capital is the vendor draining out of the business?

>>> Consult with a financing consultant. Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, there is great value to talking the potential deal over with a financing consultant before your accountant and lawyer start running up their tab respective tabs.

From the seller’s point of view, a financing consultant can be invaluable in providing insight as to how to get the business in a financial position. From the buyer’s point of view, a financing consultant can provide guidelines as to lender requirements. In either case, there is no sense going through all the potential aggravation of closing a deal if its unlikely to attract the necessary business acquisition financing capital.

>>> Become blood brothers (or sisters) with the other side. A close working relationship between the buyer and the seller can stop the deal from going down bunny trails and sitting unnecessarily on an advisor’s desk. Always listen to your chosen advisors, but remember that as buyer and seller, its your collective deal, and you’re the one’s who will make or break it when the issues are cloudy and the timelines are dragging on.

>>> Set a realistic time frame. Negotiating the deal, going through due diligence, getting advisor input, writing up the deal, and getting financing in place normally takes more time than first estimated.

If the change of control is time dependent due to the business sales cycle, year end, etc., then make sure you have sufficient time to get the deal done before you start, otherwise the only people that will be making any money will be the advisors when the deal can’t get closed on time.

Advice For Online Car Financing

When you’re in the market for a new automobile, the likelihood that you don’t have enough cash on hand is fairly high, to say the least. As such, some manner of financing is going to be involved. With the technology available today at one’s fingertips, the simplest way to go about getting financing is to go apply for online car financing. While there are a slew of other options, like banks and financing organizations, very few of them offer the versatility and speed that online car financing deals are known for.

The first thing that you, or any buyer, should understand is that the companies you’ll be dealing with are still out to make a profit off of you. While the above statement holds true for even online car financing institutions, at the very least, you can be sure that the people lending you the money will bide their time but still take your money. Thus, dealing with an organization willing to make available the car loan you need is often the most cost-effective way to go about financing a car. Many believe the previous statement because of the fact that dealerships, while often tempting places to get financing deals, tend to tack on a variety of additional items such as extended service agreements.

In place of the car dealership, you have the alternative of going on the Internet to try and find an online car financing deal which suits you. While it may take you a little bit longer than it would have if you’d gotten the deal off the dealership, going online will allow you to save more of your hard-earned money in the long run. Another advantage is that because you can shop around for good alternatives online, you can try and find a deal which looks like a better fit for your financial situation and doesn’t have interest rates and loan terms that you would be uncomfortable with.

One other, major advantage of getting online car financing is that you will be getting the financing ahead of time, which opens up some interesting options. Chief among these options is the chance to just buy the car directly with cash. There are some online financing institutions that will allow you to do so, which means you have a better bargaining position to ask for a lower price. Primarily, this is because the dealership you will be buying from will get their payment in one lump sum, eliminating their chance to add additional costs through interest rates. It also saves you, the buyer, time since the option of purchasing in cash eliminates the need to negotiate interest rates, financing terms, and the like.

A final, big advantage that an online car financing deal can afford you is the ability to choose the dealership you buy from. If the dealership you’ve gone to is not giving you a price that you are satisfied with, or is charging you too much for the car you want, you can just leave and go to another one without losing your car financing. You can leave that dealership and go for one that is more open to agreeing with your view on how much the car should be without worrying about the online car financing deal that you’ve arranged.