The closing is the formal transfer of a business. It usually also represents the successful culmination of many months of hard work, extensive negotiations, lots of give and take, and ultimately a satisfactory meeting of the minds. The document governing the closing is the Purchase and Sale Agreement. It generally covers the following:
• A description of the transaction – Is it a stock or asset sale?
• Terms of the agreement – This covers the price and terms and how it is to be paid. It should also include the status of any management that will remain with the business.
• Representations and Warranties – These are usually negotiated after the Letter of Intent is agreed upon. Both buyer and seller want protection from any misrepresentations. The warranties provide assurances that everything is as represented.
• Conditions and Covenants – These include non-competes and agreements to do or not to do certain things.
There are four key steps that must be undertaken before the sale of a business can close:
1. The seller must show satisfactory evidence that he or she has the legal right to act on behalf of the selling company and the legal authority to sell the business.
2. The buyer’s representatives must have completed the due diligence process, and claims and representations made by the seller must have been substantiated.
3. The necessary financing must have been secured, and the proper paperwork and appropriate liens must be in place so funds can be released.
4. All representations and warranties must be in place, with remedies made available to the buyer in case of seller’s breech.
There are two major elements of the closing that take place simultaneously:
• Corporate Closing: The actual transfer of the corporate stock or assets based on the provisions of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Stockholder approvals are in, litigation and environmental issues satisfied, representations and warranties signed, leases transferred, employee and board member resignations, etc. completed, and necessary covenants and conditions performed. In other words, all of the paperwork outlined in the Purchase and Sale Agreement has been completed.
• Financial Closing: The paperwork and legal documentation necessary to provide funding has been executed. Once all of the conditions of funding have been met, titles and assets are transferred to the purchaser, and the funds delivered to the seller.
It is best if a pre-closing is held a week or so prior to the actual closing. Documents can be reviewed and agreed upon, loose ends tied up, and any open matters closed. By doing a pre-closing, the actual closing becomes a mere formality, rather than requiring more negotiation and discussion.
The closing is not a time to cut costs – or corners. Since mistakes can be very expensive, both sides require expert advice. Hopefully, both sides are in complete agreement and any disagreements were resolved at the pre-closing meeting. A closing should be a time for celebration!Read More
As reported in BizBuySell’s recent Q3 2015 Insider’s Report the number of business transactions in the 3rd quarter of 2015 are down. This is compared to the markets record high level in 2014. Bob House, Group GM of BizBuySell.com andBizQuest.com said “After a very active 2014, this year’s small drop in transactions should be viewed as a stabilization of the market rather than a trend in the opposite direction. Overall, the buying-selling environment remains very robust.”
Below are some notables from the report. To view the entire report click here.
- Small Business transactions down 9% compared to 3rd quarter 2014 totaling 1814 business’s changing hands.
- Financial stability of business’s listed grew 4% to $450,000 in average revenue.
- Retail industry saw the biggest decline at 17% fewer transactions
- Pacific region down 22% in business sales transactions
- The median revenue of small businesses has been on a steady incline since mid-2012, leading to higher sale prices upon exit.
- BizBuySell Buyer-Seller Confidence Index reported a Seller Confidence Score of 62, up after two consecutive years at 56.
Regional Business Listed Data*
|California Highlights||# listed||Cash Flow Multiple||Hypothetical 250kCash Flow x Multiple = Listing Price|
|Contra Costa-Alameda-Solano, CA||189||2.75||$687,500|
|San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||401||2.50||$625,000|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA||363||3.17||$792,500|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||162||2.96||$740,000|