Selling a company is often difficult and time consuming. The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process is one that requires careful planning, competent professionals assisting the target company, and an understanding of the deal dynamics involved in the negotiations. CEOs and companies that have not been engaged in many M&A transactions frequently make mistakes that can result in a less favorable price or terms that would have otherwise been obtainable —or even kill the deal altogether.
The following is a list of common mistakes made by private companies attempting to sell themselves:
1. Not being prepared for the extensive effort and time the deal will take. Successful exits through M&A are not easy. They are time consuming, involve significant due diligence by the buyer, and require both a great deal of advance preparation as well as a substantial resource commitment by the seller. Acquisitions can often take 6 to 12 months or more to complete.