What were the seller’s motivations in deciding to pursue an exit?
The owner was an absentee owner, but it wasn’t until he received 3 unsolicited offers over the course of a few months that he understood it may be the right time to exit. At that point, he hired Tenney Group to maximize his leverage.
What challenges were unique to the seller as they entered the marketplace?
The financial reporting systems the client was running made it difficult to convey the profitability/value of each of the multiple locations the client operated. Additionally, there were some outlined concerns regarding the transferability of the school contracts the client was engaged in.
How did Tenney Group maneuver around the challenges?
Our team of analysts restated all of the financials of each location so that the buyers could confidently understand where the opportunities and risks were located, but also so that they could formulate an offer around what stood to be true. As for the contracts, it was a situation that is extremely common in the school bus space. Ultimately, we had to gain an understanding of all of the elements necessary to transfer each school contract and manage the process to the customer’s satisfaction and school board approval.
Key Takeaways for Other Business Owners:
We utilized signed, stay-on bonuses for the company’s key people to de-risk the transfer of ownership – all which increased the cash at close for the seller. Secondly, though the seller had a 20-year relationship with a CPA, he “reluctantly” used one of the Tenney Group’s preferred transaction tax specialists. Our client’s decision increased his net sale proceeds by millions. After he decided to engage our services, we produced 13 offers from 8 different buyers over 45 days. Finally, our client accepted the deal while racing dune buggies in South America.