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Preparing Your Business for a Successful Sale

Posted on 13/03/2024



Following a successful event in London, hosted by Savant, at the prestigious Royal Air Force Club, we are pleased to provide a summary of the key discussions that took place between C-Suite leaders delving into the topic of 'Preparing Your Business for a Successful Sale'.

The insightful discussions were led by our key speakers, Wendy Hart, Corporate Finance Partner at HMT LLP, Valerie Kendall, Founding Partner at WestBridge and Richard Smeaton, Chief Financial Officer at Outco Group.

Each speaker shared their extensive practical experience in working with mid-market businesses through M&A and investment processes.

Preparing for a PE Sale

Wendy Hart emphasised the importance of having a strong advisor relationship when preparing for a private equity sale. She highlighted that PE firms are diligent in evaluating investment opportunities and require thorough preparation from the selling company. Advisors play a crucial role in guiding the business through the transaction process, from developing a market of quality buyers to managing due diligence through closing. It is essential for the advisor to work closely with the CFO and finance team to ensure transparency and accuracy in financial matters. The role of the finance team and CFO is paramount in the preparation for a successful sale. The finance team is responsible for managing and analysing financial data, which forms the foundation for the company's valuation and attractiveness to potential buyers. A well-functioning finance team, led by the CFO, ensures that the company's financial records are accurate, up-to-date, and transparent. A CFO cannot do it all without temporary resources, it is a team game.

Data Analysis and Due Diligence

Wendy and Valerie both stressed the significance of faultless data in the preparation for a PE sale. PE investors rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate a company's business model and growth potential. Data analysis plays a vital role in identifying profitable investment opportunities and supporting quality decision-making. It is crucial to have detailed and accurate data to present to potential investors during the due diligence process. Block off potential wormholes, if there is little or no data then more questions will be asked. Ask them what the reviewers are trying to understand? Valerie emphasised the importance of having ideally 5 years of valid data to showcase the company's performance and growth trajectory.

Preparing a Compelling Pitch

Valerie also highlighted the importance of preparing a compelling pitch to showcase the company's value proposition and growth potential. It is essential to have an open conversation with buyers and communicate the aspirations and growth plans of the Management Team. Presenting a clear and concise growth story is crucial in attracting potential investors and securing a successful sale.

Managing the Transition

All speakers emphasised the significance of being deal-ready and prepared for the transition process post-completion. Richard shared insights from his experience in the industry, highlighting the common theme of companies not being adequately prepared for transactions. Managing the transition involves completing legal formalities, communicating with stakeholders, and adapting to the new culture and expectations of the private equity firm. It is essential to have a clear post completion strategy and plan for the company's future growth under new ownership.

Success Factors for a PE Sale

In conclusion, the key elements highlighted by the speakers for a successful PE sale include thorough preparation particularly around data, honesty, and trust between the deal team and the advisor. It is essential to have a good advisor, thorough data preparation, and a well-defined post-completion strategy to navigate the complexities of a PE sale and ensure a seamless transition for the company. The average deal time is 9 to 12 months plus preparation time.


The ‘Preparing Your Business for a Successful Sale’ event provided valuable insights and practical advice for companies looking to prepare for a private equity sale. The discussions led by Wendy, Valerie, and Richard shed light on the key elements required for successful transactions, transparency, data accuracy, and effective communication with stakeholders. By focusing on those elements businesses can maximise their chances of a successful transaction and seamless transition post-completion. For companies looking to embark on a PE sale journey, it is crucial to engage with experienced advisors, prioritise data preparation, and plan for the future growth and success of the company under new ownership. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the success of this event.

Savant is a leading recruitment partner delivering bespoke recruitment solutions across the Accountancy & Finance and Technology sectors.



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