How to sell a business during a pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly uprooted our day to day lives, cost people their jobs and caused many business owners/directors a rather unexpected disturbance with the day to day running of the business. The pressure to make the workplace Covid-Secure and keep businesses trading has definitely changed the business scene. Unfortunately some have seen their businesses cease trading due to the restrictions implemented by the Government making them non safe or viable to continue within the government guidelines.

However, it is safe to say that early signs suggest that not all sectors have been impacted as badly as first feared – granted this is still not a normal year for the vast majority, but those that had planned “worst case” budgets, with an expectation that even they might have not gone far enough are now cautiously optimistic that things are perhaps not as bad as first feared.

But what about those that want to sell their business? Has Covid-19 reduced its potential vale? Are parties interested in buying?

We are seeing a lot of movement in the markets especially in the e-commerce and food industry. The market clearly looks like a buyer’s market and many are buying as an investment for the future.

Before you decide to buy do make sure that consideration is given to the good will of the business and its value post Covid-19. The question must be asked, is this going to impact on the bank’s decision, should finance be required? There are many aspects, which must be considered in great details before any decisions are made. Due diligence is arguably more important now than ever before.

As the economy is trying to recover business owners will be faced with decisions whether perhaps a restructure might help or sale of some of the assets?

If you wish to sell your business you should prepare a very honest and realistic picture for your possible investors. First of all, show the history of your business and its performance prior to Covid-19, has the aim of the business been affected?

Secondly, show them the future and the measures that have already been put in place to preserve the business. If an investor sees a reasonable and realistic business continuity plan all you have to show them is the future! The opportunities that lay ahead could often be the deal breakers.

We cannot ignore that Covid-19 has impacted the economy with most business sectors impacted in some shape or form, but the market has not stopped completely and you shouldn’t need to put your plans on hold, you might just have to work a little bit harder to achieve your aims, and manage expectations.

Whatever you have planned Bates Wells & Braithwaite are here to assist you with every single step of a business sale or acquisition. From agreeing heads of terms to drafting the entire sale/purchase documentation to completing the whole transaction. Call 01787 880440 or email monikasargeant@bwblegal.com.

Written by Monika Sargeant – Bates Wells & Braithwaite – 01787 880440

Monika Sargeant

Monika joined Bates Wells & Braithwaite in 2020 and is a specialist employment and company commercial solicitor.

Monika has a number of years of litigation experience gained while employed for a Regional Firm. She assisted many Clients both employee and employer in achieving a satisfactory outcome in contentious and non-contentious matters including but not limited to partnership disputes, unfair and wrongful dismissal claims and discrimination claims.

In the commercial aspect of her case load over the years Monika has assisted many businesses with sales and purchases of both asset only and shares transactions.

Monika lives locally with her family and is very much devoted to the local community. She enjoys skiing and travelling (especially Portugal).

Top

Please note that Bates Wells & Braithwaite are still operating during the Covid-19 crisis and will be throughout.

 

During the current lockdown we are operating a closed door policy - only those with appointments will be permitted access to the reception area.  If you are dropping off documents please use the trays in our "service entrance" (the next door along the road, it has a notice on the door) - for anything else, including providing ID please telephone reception for assistance.

 

Please note that in line with Government guidance, all visitors will be required to wear a face mask (unless you are exempt) 

 

Reception will be manned during our opening hours of 9:00am - 1:00pm and from 2:00pm – 5:30pm Monday to Friday

 

  • All meetings will still be strictly by appointment only and where possible we ask that you arrange appointments by contacting us by telephone or email in order to assist social distancing measures.
  • Only essential appointments will be dealt with face to face - please discuss this with the person dealing with your work
  • We ask that you please do not arrive early or late to an appointment as we have to strictly control the numbers of people entering the building at any one time.
  • On entry, you will be required to wear a mask, obey social distancing rules and to use the hand sanitiser provided prior to approaching reception.
  • To assist with social distancing, you may find you are asked to wait on the pavement outside the office, or that the front door is locked in order to control the number of people in reception at any one time.

We have a visual walk-through you can access by clicking here to outline all the rules and precautions we have had to put in place

 

If you are not yet ready to attend our offices we will still offer telephone appointments where possible.

 

Please call us on 01787 880440 to discuss existing or new instructions.

 

Thank you

The Directors of Bates Wells & Braithwaite

Last updated: 11/01/2021