We are grateful and appreciative for the time spent discussing Mergers and Acquisition Lending at Live Oak Bank in weeks past. A leading advantage of expansion through acquisition is this: borrowers may not need much equity, broadening your pool of prospective buyers. We were pleased to see many of you expressing interest in the product.
This product helps target industry competitors as potential buyers for your listings. The strategic acquisition of a competitor might be your key to gaining market share, expanding product lines, cross-selling to customers, and increasing pricing power. Live Oak Bank’s Expansion through Acquisition financing helps make this happen.
If you’re not familiar with our expansion through acquisition financing or you’d like to learn more, let’s connect. In the meantime, check out our information on the benefits and qualifications for expansion through acquisition, and feel free to share it with your customers and prospective buyers.
About Live Oak
Live Oak Bank is the #1 SBA lender in the country (by dollar volume). Live Oak specializes in acquisition financing across all industries nationwide and has Preferred Lender Partner (PLP) status with the SBA. This enables Live Oak customers to obtain SBA loans without being subject to the potentially lengthy SBA approval process necessary for lenders that are not PLP Lenders. Live Oak brings efficiency and excellence to the banking process, without branches, by using a focused approach to technology and innovation.
To learn more about The Live Oak Difference, please visit our website.
Best regards,Read More
Monday, November 15, 2021
by John Vitale, MBA Commercial Relationship Manager Midland States Bank
SBA Procedural Notice 5000-821479, Issuance of Updated SBA Form 159 and Revised Procedures in SOP 50 10 6 for Submission of the Form (effective November 12, 2021), announces issuance of the revised SBA Form 159, Fee Disclosure and Compensation Agreement, and details the changes to the form. It also revises the procedures governing submission of the completed form to SBA by lenders. [SOP 50 10 6, Part 2, Section A, Chapter 5, Paragraph D.8.e. (p. 191) – for 7(a) Lenders – and Paragraph E.7.c.iv. (p. 201) for CDCs.] Lenders must begin using the new form immediately for new loan applications, but may continue to approve the previously approved version for applications already in process.
Per the notice, the substantive revisions to the 159 form include:
- Clarification that a separate Form 159 must be completed for each application when an Agent provides services to an Applicant in connection with multiple applications, and explanation of the new procedure for submitting completed forms and supporting documentation;
- Revisions to guidance regarding the itemization of services provided and the requirements for supporting documentation;
- Deletion of references to FTA/Colson Service mailbox since that email account is no longer active; and,
- New requirement that the lender use its 6-7 digit Location ID instead of its FIRS number to identify itself.
Effective immediately, the lender must submit all required executed SBA Forms 159, together with any required supporting documentation electronically to SBA’s Capital Access Financial System (CAFS) at https://caweb.sba.gov. After initial disbursement of the loan, the required form(s) and documentation must be uploaded into E-Tran Servicing in conjunction with the Lender’s monthly SBA Form 1502 report with submission required within two 1502 reporting cycles. There is no change to the requirement that 7(a) Lenders retain original signature versions of all 159 forms and all supporting documentation in their files for compliance review purposes. [Similar procedural changes are provided for forms and supporting documentation required in connection with 504 loans.] Please see the revised Form 159 and notice for full details.Read More
The buyer-seller meeting is quite often a “make or break” meeting. Your business broker or M&A Advisor will do everything possible to ensure that this meeting goes as well as possible.
It is vitally important to realize that rarely is there an offer before buyers and sellers actually meet. The all-important offer usually comes directly after this all-important meeting. As a result, you want to ensure that meetings are as positive and productive as possible.
Buyers need to understand how the process of selling a business works and what is expected of them from the process. Buyers also need to understand that following their broker’s advice will increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Sellers should be ready to be honest and forthcoming during the meeting. They also want to be sure to not say or do anything that could come across as a strong-armed sales tactic.
Asking the Right Questions
If you are a buyer preparing to meet a business owner for the first time, you’ll want to make sure any questions you ask are appropriate and logical. It is important for buyers to place themselves in the shoes of the other party.
Buyers also shouldn’t show up to the buyer-seller meeting without having done their homework. So be sure to do a little planning ahead so that you are ready to go with good questions that show you understand the business.
Building a Positive Relationship
Buyers should, of course, plan to be polite and respectful. They should also be prepared to avoid discussing politics and religion, which often can be flashpoints for confrontation. When sellers don’t like prospective buyers, then the odds are good that they will also not place trust in them.
For most sellers, their business is a legacy. It quite often represents years, or even decades, of hard work. Needless to say, sellers value their businesses. Many will feel as though it reflects them personally, at least in some fashion. Buyers should keep these facts in mind when dealing with sellers. A failure to follow these guidelines could lead to ill will between buyers and sellers and negatively impact the chances of success.
Sellers Should Be Truthful
Sellers also have a significant role in the process. While it is true that sellers are trying to sell their business, they don’t want to come across as a salesperson. Instead, sellers should try to be as real and honest as possible.
Every business has some level of competition. With this in mind, sellers should not pretend that there is zero competition. A savvy buyer will be more than a little skeptical.
The key to a successful outcome is for business brokers and M&A Advisors to work with their buyers and sellers well in advance and make sure that they understand what is expected and how best to approach the buyer-seller meeting. With the right preparation, the odds of success will skyrocket.Read More
Sellers generally desire all-cash transactions; however, oftentimes partial seller financing is necessary in typical middle market company transactions. Furthermore, sellers who demand all-cash deals typically receive a lower purchase price than they would have if the deal were structured differently.
Although buyers may be able to pay all-cash at closing, they often want to structure a deal where the seller has left some portion of the price on the table, either in the form of a note or an earnout. Deferring some of the owner’s remuneration from the transaction will provide leverage in the event that the owner has misrepresented the business. An earnout is a mechanism to provide payment based on future performance. Acquirers like to suggest that, if the business is as it is represented, there should be no problem with this type of payout. The owner’s retort is that he or she knows the business is sound under his or her management but does not know whether the buyer will be as successful in operating the business.
Moreover, the owner has taken the business risk while owning the business; why would he or she continue to be at risk with someone else at the helm? Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which an earnout can be quite useful in recognizing full value and consummating a transaction. For example, suppose that a company had spent three years and vast sums developing a new product and had just launched the product at the time of a sale. A certain value could be arrived at for the current business, and an earnout could be structured to compensate the owner for the effort and expense of developing the new product if and when the sales of the new product materialize. Under this scenario, everyone wins.
The terms of the deal are extremely important to both parties involved in the transaction. Many times the buyers and sellers, and their advisors, are in agreement with all the terms of the transaction, except for the price. Although the variance on price may seem to be a “deal killer,” the price gap can often be resolved so that both parties can move forward to complete the transaction.
Listed below are some suggestions on how to bridge the price gap:
- If the real estate was originally included in the deal, the seller may choose to rent the premise to the acquirer rather than sell it outright. This will decrease the price of the transaction by the value of the real estate. The buyer might also choose to pay higher rent in order to decrease the “goodwill” portion of the sale. The seller may choose to retain the title to certain machinery and equipment and lease it back to the buyer.
- The purchaser can acquire less than 100% of the company initially and have the option to buy the remaining interest in the future. For example, a buyer could purchase 70% of the seller’s stock with an option to acquire an additional 10% a year for three years based on a predetermined formula. The seller will enjoy 30% of the profits plus a multiple of the earnings at the end of the period. The buyer will be able to complete the transaction in a two-step process, making the purchase easier to accomplish. The seller may also have a “put” which will force the buyer to purchase the remaining 30% at some future date.
- A subsidiary can be created for the fastest growing portion of the business being acquired. The buyer and seller can then share 50/50 in the part of the business that was “spun-off” until the original transaction is paid off.
- A royalty can be structured based on revenue, gross margins, EBIT, or EBITDA. This is usually easier to structure than an earnout.
- Certain assets, such as automobiles or non-business-related real estate, can be carved out of the sale to reduce the actual purchase price.
Although the above suggestions will not solve all of the pricing gap problems, they may lead the participants in the necessary direction to resolve them. The ability to structure successful transactions that satisfy both buyer and seller requires an immense amount of time, skill, experience, and most of all – imagination.
Owning a business and owning the right kind of business for you are, of course, two wildly different things. Owning the wrong kind of business can make you absolutely miserable. So if you are considering buying a business, it is prudent that you invest the time and effort into determining the best kind of business for your needs and your personality. In a recent Forbes article, “What is the Right Type of Business for You to Buy?” author Richard Parker explores how buyers should go about finding the right business fit.
Parker is definitely an expert when it comes to working with buyers as he has spoken with an estimated 100,000 buyers over his career. In that time, Parker has concluded that it is critical that you don’t “learn on your own time.”
His key piece of advice concerning what type of business to buy is as follows. “While there are many factors to be considered, the answer is simple: whatever it is you do best has to be the single most important driving factor of the revenues and profits of any business you consider purchasing.” And he also believes that expertise is more important than experience. Parker’s view is that it is critical for prospective buyers to perform an honest self-assessment in order to identify their single greatest business skill and area of expertise. The last thing you want to do is pretend to be something that you are not.
Parker makes one very astute point when he notes, “Small business owners generally wear many hats: this is usually why their businesses remain small. Remember that every big business was once a small business.” As Parker points out, whoever is in charge of the business will ultimately determine how the business will evolve, or not evolve. Selecting the right business for you and your skillsets is pivotal for the long-term success of your business.
All of this adds up to make the process of due diligence absolutely essential. Before buying a business, you must understand every aspect of that business and make certain that the business is indeed a good fit for you. According to Parker, if you don’t love your business, it will have trouble growing. This point is impossible to refute. Owning and growing a business requires a tremendous amount of time and effort. If you don’t enjoy owning and/or operating your business, success will be a much more difficult proposition.
Finding the right business for you is a complicated process even after you have performed a proper evaluation of your skills and interests. After all, do you really want a solid business with great potential for growth that you would hate owning? By working with brokers and M&A advisors, you can find the best business fit for your needs, personality, and goals. These professionals are invaluable allies in the process of discovering the right business for you.Read More