One of my guilty pleasures is watching “Shark Tank” on Friday evenings. If you’ve never seen it, the premise is as follows: business owner appears before a “panel” of investors (a.k.a. The Sharks), business owner pitches his company to the sharks and none, or one or more of the investors make him an offer. The show gets really interesting when more than one shark makes an offer for the business and when this happens usually the owner ends up with a much better deal than when only one offer is on the table.
Sound familiar? If you’re a business owner with a company to sell and this doesn’t sound familiar, you’re probably working with the wrong advisor. One important function of an experienced professional M&A advisor is to establish a competitive selling environment. Whether your company is being positioned to appeal to a private equity investor, strategic buyer or both, competition usually improves the seller’s results.