How to Sell Your Business–and Keep It, Too
Inc posts an interesting article with some real life examples and case studies of founders who sold their business but got to keep it too. When I posted an article along those lines some months ago, it was about owners using convertible bonds to get their hands on cash today based on the future worth of their business.
This is different.
These examples involve innovative small firms being acquired to work within the framework and auspices of a larger company, one that can provide infrastructure, talent and other inputs to help them accelerate their growth. The examples providedg are both interesting and thought provoking and worthy of examination.
While this route won’t suit most businesses, an understanding of how all parties in the transaction benefit from the arrangement would go a long way to assisting founders extract maximum value from their businesses, whatever their current size or sector.
There’s a new, and favorable, twist in the tale for entrepreneurs, too. In the past, when a big company bought a small one, the founder got a big payday, but had to accept giving up control of a business built on years of love and grueling work, and that the acquirer, once in control, might have a slightly different plan for its new toy. Cultures clashed, cherished employees left, and all the excitement that went into creating the merger vanished. Even worse was the “acquihire,” in which a company got taken out primarily for its talent–without even a pretense of synergy.
In the trend that’s emerging, the founders of prominent startups are finding ways to sell their cake and have it, too. They can run their brands on their own terms inside larger corporations while at the same time providing spark and nimbleness to the parent company. More.