Successful purchase or sale of a business

Who is Richard Boonman?
I am a partner in Claassen, Moolenbeek & Partners, a national consulting company active in strategy, financing and business acquisitions. I am the “Transport and Logistics Man” of this organization and have already mentored many members of TLN, especially in the buying and selling of their companies.

How specific should an entrepreneur’s plans be for buying or selling a business for an exploratory meeting with you?
I would almost say you are never too early. But I also sit down regularly when a purchase or sale plan is already very concrete and things need to be set in motion immediately. If I’m in the orientation phase earlier, we can prepare things better together. It is important that we discuss the plans that the entrepreneur has. What are his starting points: does a possible takeover within the family play a role, does he want to sell for the highest price or does he want an employee to participate in the company and is the sales price important for a possible pension scheme?

The briefing is completely confidential. Why is it so important?
This confidentiality is especially important when selling your business. It’s all in your employees and customers. Unrest arises when employees or customers from parties other than management are told that the company they work or trade with is for sale. It may raise questions. Should I continue working here, or should I move to another company? Therefore, we are very careful with confidentiality agreements and penalties to ensure that the process remains closed.

What is an investigative conversation about? What can I expect from you as an entrepreneur?
When it comes to entrepreneurs who want to buy, I often hear, ‘Richard, if you have something nice, call me.’ My question in return is: ‘What do you like?’ Growing through acquisitions can be a great strategy, but what’s your story? Where are you with your business? What ambition do you have? Where do you want to go and how does an acquisition fit into this? What synergy benefits do you think you can achieve? What requirements must a company meet to be acquired? That’s what I’m talking about. A good approach can then be to look for opportunities in the market very purposefully.

And selling parties?
As I mentioned before, it’s primarily about the plans and what an entrepreneur finds important. Then discuss how you can prepare: are your employees and equipment in order, are your business processes in order? With more complex legal structures: what exactly do you want to sell and have you optimized your business financially? Have you pressed the right buttons for it? If I get involved early enough, I can indicate where there is still homework in preparation for a sale. Then I outline the whole process. It starts with the valuation. Many carriers believe that the value of their business lies in the equipment, but the return and the expected return are much more important. This is followed by a sales memorandum, basically a presentation of your business that gives potential buyers the opportunity to orient themselves and ultimately make an offer.

What is your added value for a buyer or a seller?
I specialize in this market and advise almost exclusively on transactions in the logistics world. Carriers find it very important that they have a consultant who speaks their language. Because I know the market and what’s going on, I can make a realistic assessment of the value of a business, something that many entrepreneurs are looking for. In addition, my added value also lies in the negotiation. As an entrepreneur, you should not really feel like doing this on your own. The bottom line is it’s about trust, a click is the foundation. Knowledge of the industry is an advantage.

Next week we talk to Paul Overwater from MKB Advies Partners. We will also introduce him to you. TLN would like to support members who are in the process of buying or selling, with professional advice. To emphasize our objectivity, we offer several professional partners. Are you interested in a conversation with one of the advisors? Contact TLN, Sjors Jepkema, telephone 06 – 22 22 97 32 email: gjepkema@tln.nl

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