Statistics tell us that retirement remains the most frequent driver for business transfers. Some 70% of transfers are age-related.

It used to be the case that a family business was mostly taken over by the next generations. In the last few years, however, this form of succession has become less and less frequent, so that now and in the future securing a tailor-made solution in good time is increasingly important.

 

Even if a business handover seems still to lie in the distant future, you should be asking yourself the following questions:

1)  Does anyone in my family want to take over my business?

2)  Does this person have the necessary aptitude?

 

If you cannot answer both these questions at any given time with a clear and definite ‘yes’, some other questions inevitably arise:

  • Can I identify a suitable and interested successor among the current management team?
  • Shall I recruit a new manager or a seasoned external manager (via Interim Management, for example), who can in time grow into the successor role?
  • Or shall I prepare for a sale of the business in a timely manner?

 

By its nature, a business transfer takes two forms:

1. Internal transfer:
a) within the family, to a child or family member

2. External transfer:

a) within the business to an employee, mostly to someone from the management team
b) to a strategic purchaser
c) to financial investors

With the three varieties of Type 2, there come into play not only the emotional aspects of the transfer and ‘letting go’ but also the financial means of the transferee.


Why should you plan, and prepare in good order, for the transfer of your business?

A well-prepared transfer – especially to an outsider – ensures a quicker and smoother sale and immensely increases the chances of a better sale price.

Moreover, with a speedier and well-planned process, you minimise the risk that your customers and employees find out prematurely about the change in ownership and terminate their employment or business relationship with you on the grounds of the resulting insecurity. At the same time, a well-planned and swiftly executed sale will attract more potential acquirers thereby boosting the sale price.

Good preparation and documentation will also minimise any risks associated with guarantees and warranties for the business to be transferred.

 

We therefore recommend that anyone running a business should:

  • instead of just letting the business transfer ‘happen’,
  • perhaps only being forced to sell in an emergency
  • or in the sad case of the sudden death of the owner-manager being without arrangements for those left behind,

in every case be well prepared in advance for the succession issue.

At Panthera, we specialise in every type of business succession and we should be happy to advise you.

You have shares in a business and would like to exit from this relationship? Then Panthera can help you with our wide experience, sure touch and creative solutions, accompanying you through to a successful disposal of your participation.

If you are responsible for a medium-sized or large enterprise and looking for expert support in hiving off non-core parts of the business or portfolio shareholdings, then in Panthera you have found the ideal companion. Our clients currently include international groups with a presence in Germany, Austria or Switzerland for whom we are finding suitable buyers or solutions for those parts of their business or subsidiaries that are now surplus to requirements. It is precisely in this connection that our clients benefit from our excellent international network of powerful financial investors and industry partners. We guide you through the entire spin-off process and we find interested buyers quickly and efficiently.

We advise medium-sized businesses and their owners and insolvency administrators, especially with regard to the disposal of a shareholding in connection with or in the run-up to a corporate rescue or bankruptcy proceedings.

So-called distressed M&A transactions or fire sales are often inevitable in the course of a corporate rescue procedure and can be distinguished from conventional M&A transactions principally by reference to their strictly limited time frame.

Such exceptional situations require a great deal of experience, speed and precision as well as the requisite tact, when negotiating with banks, for example. It is here that Panthera’s Managing Director, Mrs Doris Nöhrer, can call on a great deal of experience of a broad range of insolvency procedures. Not only was she involved as an M&A specialist in two of Austria’s largest insolvencies (Alpine Bau and A-Tec Industries), but she has also advised the owners and managers of medium-sized businesses in equivalent fire sales.

In these difficult situations, too, in Panthera you have a skilful partner with extensive experience, in-depth knowledge and excellent banking contactson your side to ensure a speedy and professional execution of the sale process.

When selling your business, exit routes are as diverse as the owners and management of the business involved. Panthera will provide you with support in the transaction process which is individually adapted to every situation – thanks to our many years of experience in all kinds of projects and an outstanding domestic and international network, we can ensure your project a successful outcome.

Panthera is an expert in the entire transaction process for owner-managers, which normally lasts about six months, depending on differing external and internal factors concerning potential purchasers, the client itself or regulatory requirements:

Unternehmensverkauf
4 – 6 weeks
1. Scheduling
  • planning & analysis
  • sales documentation
  • long list
  • value considerations
4 – 8 weeks
2. Marketing
  • contacting long list
  • non binding offers
4 – 6 weeks
3. Due Diligence
  • examination process
  • binding offers
  • selection of negotiation parnters
6 – 8 weeks
4. Negotiation
  • structuring
  • contractual negotiations
  • signing
  • closing
WHO should be particularly interested?

Panthera can advise owner-managers on all types of business disposals, but specialises in the sensitive and often avoided topics around business succession – the earlier a business owner gets to grips with this subject, the more orderly can the transfer of his or her life’s work become and be exploited as an opportunity for the future.

There are many more possibilities than the universal solution – sale of the entire business to a competitor – where the intentions of the transfer often fail to be realised. Regardless of whether early consideration is given to succession or a crisis forces the owner to enter into a sale, our many years of experience of transactions, a wide-ranging network of Austrian and international strategic and financial investors and the necessary feel for people and business owners allow Panthera and our clients to work out the optimal solution for the succession plan together.

The first step is for us to have a without-obligation and confidential discussion!

We look forward to your questions!