Don’t Sell if Not ‘In Like’ with Business Partner

By John Kelly

John Kelly - M&A Advisor, Cornerstone Business ServicesWe were managing a sale and had a strong offer on the table. But as we did our research, we found out the buyer had just parted ways with another business and hadn’t left on good terms. And we learned he didn’t treat employees the way our client would want.

Even though the offer made financial sense, our client decided to pass. The buyer was upset, but at the end of the day we did him a service. Had he purchased the business, the lead employees would probably have quit and performance would have declined. Maybe 20% of the time our client will take less money because they like a certain buyer better. Money is a big piece of any deal, but legacy and culture issues can override a financial decision. Many times the heart wins in the end.

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John has more than 20 years of ownership experience in the food industry. For 11 years, John served as president of Kelly Pickle Company (formerly Bond Food Products). Under his leadership, the food processing company expanded through an emphasis of product development, sales, marketing, and manufacturing efforts.