Management Presentations & Site Visits
Once the CIM has been sent to all prospective buyers, those interested will submit a letter of intent or expression of interest. A letter of intent is very specific about the proposed transaction while an expression of interest merely sets out the price range in terms of a multiple of cash flow, and perhaps the general terms and method of financing the deal.
These buyers will want to meet the owner and, often, management or key employees, as well as tour the business. This is the final stage in marketing a business and the last chance to reinforce the positive impression created by the CIM. The M&A advisor will structure these meetings and help your client prepare to make a positive impression.
Meetings should take place in the M&A advisor’s offices. During this time, the buyers will have the opportunity to ask your client questions and clarify information that has been provided in written form. This is also your client’s opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of management to successfully run the business, and to learn more about the buyers so your client can:
- Decide if they will be a good fit for the company
- Learn more about their objectives and strategy for operating the business
- Find out what’s important to them so that the discussion can be focused on specific aspects of the opportunity
Site visits can be problematic if your client doesn’t regularly have people tour the business. If there are concerns about taking buyers through the operation, the M&A advisor should arrange these visits outside of business hours.
That said, showing a business while it’s operating can have advantages as the buyer can get an idea of how things are done. If your client chooses to go this route, the advisor should ask visiting buyers to avoid speaking with employees and customers.
Buyer/seller meetings and site visits are a chance to build excitement in buyers. By scheduling these events close to the date that letters of intent are due, your advisor builds on that momentum to help ensure that the buyers’ eagerness to own the business is reflected in their offers.
It is important that your client is thoroughly prepared for these meetings. The M&A advisor should advise the client and his management team on:
- What should and should not be disclosed
- The format for presentation
- Referring questions related to the sale process, especially about price, to the advisor
- The M&A advisor will then stage dress rehearsals to review the presentation, ask participants to answer some probable questions, and coach each participant on how to respond to those questions