Exit your business with confidence.
Your business likely represents the largest component of your net worth, the one you care about the most. Your expertise is in your business. Ours is in the sale process: guiding you to an outcome that achieves and exceeds your objectives.
The best way to sell is to stay focused on running your business, cementing its value while letting deal professionals run the process.
What to Expect When Working with FirePower
We have sold dozens of businesses since 2013 and have refined a bespoke process specifically built for private, owner-operated businesses in Canada. We help you navigate towards an exit to private equity firms, your own management team or strategic players, and conclude a transaction at a compelling value and terms. Our approach is structured, technology-driven, outcomes-driven, yet customized, creative and transparent.
(1) Get ready
We review your corporate and personal position (as a shareholder) from all angles (strategic, tax, accounting, reporting, legal, financial, operations, human resources, leadership, etc.) and recommend changes that will improve your attractiveness to potential buyers. We also prepare you emotionally, as selling a company can take its toll.
(2) Develop deal collateral
We prepare a “no-names” one-page teaser that provides a powerful snapshot of the business. We also develop a comprehensive Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) that covers all aspects of the business. It highlights the positive features of the business and addresses the troublesome ones, earning the trust of potential buyers and setting an honest and productive tone for the negotiations that follow.
(3) Identify prospective buyers
Our analysts sift through our proprietary database of 0 strategic and financial buyers (as of Jan 21, 2020). We also search limited-access M&A marketplaces, connect with buy-side advisors in our network, cross-check with recent buy-side mandates we track, and catalogue relevant industry participants. Prospective buyers are grouped into tiers in order to prioritize our outreach efforts. Every potential buyer we identify is reviewed and approved by you before contact is initiated.
(4) Build or reinforce connections
Dedicated specialists on our deal team reach out to decision makers at the identified prospects and deliver a compelling “deal brief”. On average, these specialists will make approximately 90 connections per week. Our specialists leverage our proprietary deal-management software platform, built on Salesforce, to facilitate quality connections and continued follow-ups.
(5) Create an auction environment
All buyers who show interest are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in order to know the name of the company, receive the CIM and ask questions. After shepherding the most interested buyers in the right direction, we set a deadline for offer submissions, which creates a competitive environment. We then review all offers with respect to price, fit, terms, and conditions, and pit the proposals against each other to negotiate the most favourable Letter of Intent (LOI).
(6) Conduct due diligence
After the seller signs the preferred LOI, the parties typically enter into an exclusivity period where the buyer is granted access to a secure Virtual Data Room (VDR) that we host. We actively manage a buyer’s due diligence process and curate communication between all stakeholders to ensure nothing jeopardizes the deal. This VDR allows for realtime tracking, user management, and security controls.
(7) Finalize purchase agreement
With due diligence moving along, our deal team leads and negotiates the definitive agreements, with support from legal counsel, tax specialists and accountants. We comb through every clause, while keeping all parties focused on the big picture.
(8) Close the sale
Our close rate is more than 2 times our competitors’ average (Firmex, 2019). While there are so many ways a deal can fail, we remain unfazed, working until we reach a satisfactory outcome for our client.
- Our May 2017 Market Insights Newsletter on how to prepare for sale.
- Our interview with Betakit for their “Ask An Investor” column on how to sell your company.
- Our interview with Shelley Wishart, who shares her experience with the sale process.
- Visit our FAQ page to read common questions on selling your business.
From the archives: October 2019
Will Canadian M&A Activity Peak in 2020/21?
M&A is thriving in North America. It’s a seller’s market, but how long will that last? While 2019 got off to a slower start…
Applied Comfort is a designer and manufacturer of non-standard HVAC systems for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. FirePower guided the company in its search for a strategic partner, concluding a transaction with a UK-based strategic, with a complementary product portfolio and distribution capabilities.
Beverage & Alcohol
Our client was searching for new sources of revenue as it faced increased competition in its core business. After the VMX team identified an attractive new sector, our client entered it; it quickly led to an exit at an extremely compelling valuation largely due to its efforts in that new sector.
FirePower was engaged to prepare PrintFleet for a a sale, and guide the company through to closing. Weeks before closing, the buyer with whom PrintFleet signed an LOI following a competitive auction, a Japanese Fortune 500 company, terminated the deal because of an internal reorganization. FirePower re-ignited conversations with a US strategic who had done well in the auction, and closed without any major challenges at an attractive price, terms and conditions.