1:24 - The UNIC mafia
3:08 - Right and wrong reasons to sell your company
10:16 - M&A KPI threshold
26:15 - Sending out one-pagers
48:42 - What to share with a potential buyer
Heiner Grüter is the CEO at Meridium Partners, a strategy and M&A consultancy company. He was previously the CEO at UNIC, one of Switzerland’s first digital agencies and one of the Swiss Startup Mafia’s “mother” companies, having given rise to major players like Rentouch, Students.ch, Fashion Days and Qmram.
But why was UNIC so special?
Timing: UNIC employees were weathering the boom and bust storms of that era, and this gave them a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t. Hiring: UNIC made a point of hiring only very talented people. Founding team: the UNIC founders were very entrepreneurial themselves, and cultivated that sort of environment.
Why should you sell your company?
- You should sell your company if you believe somebody else would be a better owner for it than its current shareholders.
- You should not sell your company simply because you’re tired and want somebody to take your job. This results in a fire sale, usually with very mediocre results.
What’s the right time to sell your company?
You need to wait long enough for your company to build a track record: KPIs and other metrics which show the strength of your business and support your projection of its future. It’s okay to go into a financing round without a track record, but never an M&A process. Don’t wait so long that you run out of cash half-way through the M&A process. Time pressure to finish the deal is something you want to avoid at all costs, or you’ll risk ending up with a pretty crappy deal.
"Selling your company means you believe someone out there is a better owner for it than your current shareholders."
"Being successful in Switzerland doesn’t say a lot about your expansion potential."
Listen to the full episode for more info on M&A outreach, due diligence and conclusion. And if you’d like to hear more conversations on this topic, check out our episodes with experts Thomas Hofer & Vito Gigante and Jürg Tauss, and real life case Ross Mason.
Don’t forget to give us a follow on our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin accounts, so you can always stay up to date with our latest initiatives. That way, there’s no excuse for missing out on live shows, weekly give-aways or founders dinners!