Bridging the Deal Gap
A Tennessee business owner finds a match in a Nebraska broker
There comes a time in the life of every business when the owner decides to sell. After all the years of hard work and sacrifice, the personal reward of ownership no longer makes the financial return worthwhile. Each CEO, president and owner-operator must weigh the value of their time and needs against the long-term health and success of the business. It’s one of the hardest decisions a business owner faces, but finding the right buyer can be just as tough.
Most sellers are concerned with confidentiality. They want to ensure that the flow of business goes uninterrupted throughout the sale and transition from their leadership to their successor’s. For one healthcare business owner in Tennessee, this was a vital condition in choosing the right brokerage to transact the sale of her company. “We’re seeing more and more business owners increasingly concerned with making sure that their decision to sell is kept confidential throughout their time with The Firm,” says Cortney Sells, President of The Firm Business Brokerage. April Gentry, who worked with Sells from beginning to end, is no exception.
While it would have been more convenient to work with a broker in her home state, Gentry chose to venture as far as Nebraska to work with the right firm, even though it meant working in different time zones. Distance could not hinder her determination to keep her employees’ jobs safe, and working with a local broker was impossible in her mind as many a contract can turn sour when the whisper of a sale reaches the wrong ears at the wrong time. Maintaining confidentiality in her decision to sell was an unspoken agreement with her employees, and helped to foster their continued relationships with clients. When employees and clients are kept out of the equation, the sale of a company can be more about the business and less about the personnel.
"With each deal we broker from across Nebraska and beyond, we open up our services to even more people, and continue to prove that location and service are not mutually exclusive."
Susanne Miller, In-House Legal counsel
While it may seem like an insurmountable task to broker successful deals across border lines, it’s done more often than you might think, says Sue Miller, In-House Legal Counsel for The Firm. Miller was a key player in the deal between Gentry and Brothers, working with both parties and their respective legal advisors. “So many emails are sent back and forth with each deal, and while it can get harried sometimes, deals can still come to fruition whether you’re down the street or across the country.” When all the right players are in place, proximity is the least important detail, adds Miller.
For The Firm, confidentiality is a cornerstone of each deal, a factor that heavily influenced Gentry’s decision to list her company with an out-of-state broker. While not every transaction is best completed sight unseen, often the details on paper are more important than the physical aspects of the company. When that’s the case, the ability to shop for brokers can be quite flexible. “With each deal we broker from across Nebraska and beyond, we open up our services to even more people, and continue to prove that location and service are not mutually exclusive,” says Sells. She anticipates that The Firm will see more and more businesses across the nation seek out brokerages beyond state lines. Even though Gentry chose to work with a Nebraska broker, she was still paired with a local buyer in Brothers, demonstrating that business can be found in the unlikeliest of partners.
The Firm Deal Review
Buyer & Seller Location: Tennessee
Financing Type: Conventional loan
Acquisition Type: Stock sale
Due Diligence Time: Over 90 days