The Merger & Acquisition Process Timeline

Exit Equity’s proven 3-Phase process produces results when selling a business

M&A Process Timeline

Understanding the process and steps that go into a mergers and acquisition transaction is key to navigating the complex world of business deals. Whether you’re a business owner, investor, or simply curious about how companies merge and combine forces, this article will give you a comprehensive overview. From the initial stages of planning and strategy to the final stages of integration and synergy, every step in the merger and acquisition process plays a crucial role. Exit Equity has a proven 3-step process that we guide our clients through – so that all stakeholders clearly understand the process, roles and responsibilities, and ultimately, feel in control.

Phase I

ASSESSMENT MEETING: Engagement, consultation and assessment meeting(s) to discuss the operation and history of your company and understand the process in divestiture, re-capitalization or credit facility and gain concurrence before going to market.

DETERMINATION OF YOUR OBJECTIVES: It is very important that your personal needs and requirements be fully understood prior to the initiation of the process. This is an important element of any marketing plan and transaction structure.

REVIEW OF THE BUSINESS: Transactional readiness review of the business, facilities and all assets, including phantom assets; business history; management structure; employees; customer base; operations; financial statements; tax returns; marketing programs; and growth potential.

PRICING THE COMPANY: Value Proposition and Decision to “hold and grow or sell and go”: Preparation of historical financial performance comparisons, trends and projections for a value range based on tangible & intangible assets, including identification of phantom values that can sometimes significantly increase the optimum value. This includes a “net-to-you” after closing summary; tax strategy to ensure our client’s decision to ‘hold and grow or sell and go’ is in keeping with their goals.

Phase II

PROFILE OR BUSINESS SUMMARY: Preparation of the initial offering profile and financial summary, a document summarizing the size and (blind) description of the business without name of company, location, or specific information that would divulge the identity.

PACKAGING – BUSINESS REVIEW: Preparation of a multi-page marketing document, including a review of the industry, the economic conditions, the business facilities and other assets, the business history, management structure, employee base, customer base, review of operations, review of financial statements, marketing programs and pro forma growth projections.

MARKETING PLAN: Preparation and implementation of the marketing plan to introduce the acquisition or merger opportunity to a comprehensive list of potential interested parties approved by the company.

ACQUIRER SEARCH AND COMMUNICATION: Search and development of prospective acquirer list, distribution of the offering and profile information, and communication with interested parties and prospective buyers in a “blind competitive bidding process” to optimize value.

Phase III

QUALIFICATION AND DEAL STRUCTURE: Verification of the financial and other qualifications of potential acquirers and negotiation of proposed terms and conditions for the presentation of letters of interest or intent to acquire. Then negoticate all counter proposals between the buyer and client.

DEAL STRUCTURING AND DUE DILIGENCE: Deal structuring, presentation of offers, letters of intent, and purchase agreements. Coordination and consultation with accounting, legal, and estate planning specialists in negotiation and satisfaction of requirements and concerns of the parties.

AGREEMENTS – CONTRACTS: The transaction escrow attorney will draft the definitive documents and papers used for closing. This is always based upon the letter of intent but contains several documents that pertain to the closing process itself. Exit Equity, the intermediary, will coordinate with buyer and seller professionals for their review and consult with the respective accounting, legal, and estate planning specialists in the preparation of closing documents.

CLOSING: At this time the transaction escrow attorney and the buyer and seller hold the final closing. After consideration and agreement of all definitive documents by both buyer and seller counsel comes the execution of closing documents, recording of documents, transfer of funds to seller and possession of business to buyer. This includes all state, federal, and local filings to indicate the business has been sold, and there is a new owner.

Conclusion: The importance of understanding the M&A timeline for businesses

In conclusion, understanding the timeline of mergers and acquisitions is crucial for businesses operating in today’s dynamic and competitive environment. By gaining a deeper understanding of each phase and the key considerations involved, businesses can navigate the M&A process more effectively and increase their chances of success. While mergers and acquisitions come with their fair share of challenges and risks, careful planning, diligent execution, and a focus on synergy realization can lead to significant long-term benefits for all parties involved. So, whether you’re considering a merger or acquisition or simply interested in learning more about this fascinating aspect of business, take the time to understand the timeline and make informed decisions that will drive your company forward.

Our clients, buyers, and lenders often tell us that we have the best sales and marketing approach. Let’s schedule time to show you a sample client’s Go-To-Market plan