Succession advice – need-based solutions and efficient processes

According to a study, one of five SMEs in Switzerland are currently facing the issue of succession, meaning that by 2012 between 70,000 and 80,000 small and medium-sized businesses will be transferred from one generation to the next. This affects around 400,000 jobs in Switzerland.

Succession planning for SMEs – find your successor

Business Broker AG offers you systematic, target-oriented process guidance. Take advantage of our broad experience, stemming from more than 500 successful transactions.

A succession/sale process is a complex undertaking that involves a number of both technical and emotional challenges. It is therefore particularly important that the process is implemented step by step and with professional support.

Regardless of whether the company is to be passed on within the owner's own family, transferred to one of its employees or whether ultimately a buyer or investor needs to be found on the market. In order to take the right course, the individual phases of the process must be worked through systematically.

Business Broker is able to assist entrepreneurs who are seeking a successor or those who have already found one with corresponding advice individually tailored to the relevant situation.

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Important process steps in succession planning

Phase 1: Stocktake

What are the intentions/requirements on the side of the entrepreneur and his/her family? In the first phase it is necessary to establish the right point in time and the type of handover. Basically, the options are a family buy-out (FBO), a management buy-out (MBO), a management buy-in (MBI) or a sale to a strategic or financial investor.

Phase 2: Company valuation and establishment of purchase price

The evaluation of the sale price is fundamental to the further process. What is the value of the company at this point in time and which assets should change hands with the handover? This can be a particularly sensitive topic where a handover is planned within the family or internally within the company, and strong emotions may be involved.

Phase 3a: The search for a successor

If no suitable successor can be found within the family or the company, then one must be found externally. Business Broker AG specialises in the search for buyers. Thanks to its own and highly frequented internet platform with around 30,000 visitors per month and its own database with more than 25,000 registered potential buyers, Business Broker is able to find suita-ble candidates very quickly.

Phase 3b: Successor's motivation and expectations

Regardless of whether an MBI, an MBO or an FBO is in discussion: The successor will have his or her own expectations and ideas. These need to be established and compared with the pre-conceptions of the seller. The conditions negotiated, which are then set out in a letter of intent, form the basis for the overall contractual agreement.

Phase 4: Negotiation and contract phase

In the negotiation and contract phase, the details of the transaction are set out clearly. It is usually at this point, in parallel to the sales negotiations, that the due diligence will take place. There are many aspects to take into account when setting up a contract. Depending on the situation and the complexity of the transaction, the contracts may be thoroughly comprehensive. Alongside the actual equity or share purchase agreement, there may also be rental, consultant or loan agreements which need to be set up. Business Broker AG supports the parties in finding a fair solution.

Phase 5: Implementation phase: Signing and completion (signing/closing)

The process concludes with the completion and signing of the contract. In this phase too, some administrative preparation is required: It is essential to set up a proper time plan (closing minutes) as well as create the necessary records and, where relevant, share certificates, stock register and similar.

We guide and support you to a successful conclusion! After all, when our clients are successful that is when we are successful.

If you are planning the succession of your company do not hesitate to get in touch with us and arrange a no-obligation consultation.

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