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***Advertisement: Ascent Partners 28 July 2010***

Monday, 26 July 2010
By Print 21 Online Article

Tough times call for creative solutions in business sales. It’s all possible, but the deals need to be individually structured to get them over the line. Richard Rasmussen outlines three such deals he’s structured over the past three months, stating that in this climate there’s no such thing as a “normal” deal.

There’s no doubt we live in challenging times when it comes to selling print related businesses. Detailed below are examples of the past three deals we have done, acting for the vendor.

4 sales were made to get this deal concluded:

Sale 1 – Pre Press house

1.    The majority or the goodwill sold to one party

2.    The remainder of the goodwill plus some plant and equipment  sold to another

3.    The major piece of plant and equipment sold to another party

4.    The remaining plant and equipment went to auction

Sale 2 – Commercial Printer – broken down into three components

1.    The sale of the whole of the goodwill to one party with some transfer assistance

2.    Most equipment sold off or with used equipment dealers to be sold

3.    Auction off the remaining equipment

Sale 3  – Digital Printer – a sale, a lease and a print deal

1.    Under offer now for the complete business as a “going concern”

2.     This was a win-win for both parties as it involved leasing of premises and an ongoing print deal.

There is no doubt in the above examples that the correct appraisal at the outset helped in the successful outcome. Understanding the market is paramount, and where to place / market each of the components is essential – in each case the vendor was given a realistic guide as to what could be achieved, we worked through the available options, and chose the best one to match the vendor’s needs. 

Businesses can sell very quickly, especially goodwill, if they priced correctly and marketed to the right people, in the right way. One of these deals, for example, was done within just two weeks of getting the listing to a known buyer. 

Many of our sales are “split”, as in deal 1 &2 above – i.e. the goodwill and the plant and equipment are sold separately. Split deals are often faster to get done, and frequently the net result is the same as if you sold the business as a going concern. You need to cut the cloth to suit.

Rasmussen said that although he has got buyers wanting to purchase going concern business, most of the interest is in the goodwill. There is also a disproportional amount of buyers wanting to purchase digital printers. This perhaps is a sign of things to come, and the recognition that for many commercial printers this is a market space they have to enter. 

Ascent Partners are industry specialist business agents, offering advice, appraisals, and business sales assistance to Australian printers.  Contact Richard Rasmussen on 0402 021 101 for a confidential discussion.


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