In the business world, buying and selling can be tricky transactions. But they don’t have to be. And adding value to your business deals is easier than you think. Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) from Barton, Walter & Krier provide the expertise you need to understand the intricacies of the process and maximize the value of your purchase or sale. Learn more about TAS and when and how to utilize these impressive financial tools.
The best way to understand Transaction Advisory Services is to talk to someone who regularly handles such projects – someone with the experience to discern and explain the practice and importance of TAS.
Blaine Andersen is that person. As BWK’s Managing Director of Transaction Advisory Services, he worked in Big 4 accounting for almost two decades and spent much of that time in M&A (mergers and acquisitions) transactions with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Andersen provides a wealth of knowledge for BWK and its clients, and his sell-side background is so solid that he’ll take on anyone in the business.
“I’m known as a due diligence and sell-side specialist,” he said, “and my experience can compete with any others.”
Transaction Advisory Services from BWK offer support for clients throughout the process of a deal and include:
At its core, TAS is all about valuation precision. “That’s where we come in,” Andersen said. “To make sure that the numbers you’re putting into any model to determine the valuation of your company are accurate.” Having someone in your corner who understands the buy-side and sell-side of a transaction goes a long way toward securing your bottom line.
“What is cash and what is treated as debt?” Andersen asked, when referencing two important factors that determine a company’s value. “And then there’s the working capital,” he added. All of this affects purchase price and is just scratching the surface of what BWK offers.
“We help out with all aspects of understanding what all of that will end up looking like and being prepared for negotiations,” Anderson added.
While the buy-side and sell-side aspects of a transaction are inherently different, being versed in both helps devise and secure strategies for negotiating on either side.
Ideally, Andersen noted, you want to bring in a TAS advisor long before you decide to sell your business. And because the process can be so involved and include details that take time to develop and assemble, he’s talking 1 to 3 years in advance.
Why so early? “So that we can take advantage of the things that we know a specific buyer is going to look at, but you need a history as part of that, too,” he said. Andersen also stated that bringing in an advisor early helps get a jump on reviewing the working capital to make any improvements that would directly benefit the seller.
The process can be lengthy and is certainly complex, so a little support goes a long way, Andersen said.
“Having an advisor in your corner helps,” he explained. “You don’t know what you don’t know, and you can’t go back and sell your company a second time to see if you could have done better. You need to have a good feeling about it, and you need to be supported with people who do M&A.”
Andersen expressed that every deal has its own fingerprints, which means there is no typical day or routine course to any of this. And that’s why you want a seasoned professional doing the digging, the analyzing, the predicting, and the negotiating for you.
“We’re inquisitive. At the end of the day, it’s really having a forensic mindset,” Andersen said. “You need to understand the bigger picture and constantly question everything with the goal of getting the transaction completed, so there is a proper balance of how to approach.”
On buy-side engagements, the seller’s management teams and investment bankers and brokers know things that they don’t want found out, Andersen alluded. But the buy-side advisor’s job is to do the digging and uncover the skeletons, no matter how deep they’re buried.
“Everything is a challenge if you allow it to be,” he continued. “You have to be organized. You have to be thoughtful. You have to be proactive. You have to be involved with the purchase agreement.”
And a good advisor needs to be logical. “You have to know that if you propose and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) adjustment, there are often repercussions to Net Working Capital,” Andersen explained. “There can be a lot of collaboration with the client and its other advisors on various adjustments and what may need to be included in the purchase agreement.”
Ultimately, Andersen said the biggest reward is client satisfaction. “I work with a lot of sellers and buyers. And at the end of the day, when they get the deal done, they’re pleased,” he said.
The Transaction Advisory Services from BWK benefit clients in multiple ways, “both tangible, that can be identified, and intangible, that help with getting the deal done while minimizing distraction,” Andersen said. “This is a value-added service. We’re a value-added firm. This is a value-added service inside a value-added firm.”
BWK’s dedicated team is ready to put its skills to work for you. “We’re a very experienced group of professional advisors and consultants,” Andersen said. “And we’re proactive in creating value with the attention the client is looking for while providing Big 4-level service and experience.