In this post, Jeremy Harbour breaks down a brilliant tried-and-tested strategy to building a large business in a few short weeks and then selling it – he calls it “the virtual merger”.
- Create an SPV (special purpose vehicle): this is a company which you will use as a holding company.
- Source similar targets: get a group of exit-minded companies in one industry together, either from your own network, or perhaps start with one and ask them to rally together their competitors.
- Structure a deal: you get these companies to agree to a deal where they all get together for the purpose of a sale. You sign Sale and Purchase agreements, saying as long as we achieve $x price within Y time frame, we sell.
- Claim your stake: you take a stake in the holding company for putting the deal together. 15-20% is quite achievable as long as you are taking care of the accounting consolidation and legalities, as well as finding the buyer.
- Do the sums: next, you produce consolidated accounts. This is simply a profit and loss and balance sheet for the holding company that combines those of all the subsidiaries.
- Set up borrowing to attract a buyer: I never advise borrowing money to buy businesses, especially leveraging the company you are buying. However, I totally advocate it when you sell, so the buyer can easily borrow the money to buy the group from you.
- Prepare to sell: now you just need to present the group as a coherent joint proposition, with an information memorandum and group website and start presenting it to potential buyers.
Yes, a virtual merger really is that simple. Follow Jeremy Harbour’s advice and make millions quickly, painlessly and virtually risk-free.