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Frequently Asked Questions

Founder and Family-owned Business Sales

Why do I need an M&A advisory firm to help me sell my business?

Because an expert advisor makes sure you come out on top. You hire a CPA to do your business taxes because they’re the experts, right? It’s the same with selling your business. Without expert transaction representation, you could be leaving money on the table. A sale transaction is very complex and nuanced; going it alone often leads to mistakes, buyer disagreements and missed opportunities. We reduce transaction risk and ensure your interests come first.

What’s the difference between and M&A advisor and a business broker?

Business brokers typically handle small, simple transactions. However, larger deals with strategic buyers are complex and require a higher level of industry domain expertise and financial savvy. M&A advisors are skilled at comprehensive business valuations and know how to create more business value. They excel at negotiating the unforeseen snags that arise during complex transactions. An M&A advisory fee is higher than a broker commission, but sellers still win financially with an M&A advisor. That’s because we increase the value of their businesses significantly more, which not only pays for the cost of our fee many times over, but also delivers a much bigger pay-out for sellers.

I’m selling a large company. Do I need an investment bank instead of an M&A advisor?

If the transaction value is over $200M, then a small to mid-market investment bank may be interested. But due to their high-volume model, they want to close deals fast, not necessarily in the way that’s best for the seller. And although some banks have experience managing transactions in our industries, none of them have the deep industry expertise and personal buyer relationships that we do. Because they lack our knowledge of what motivates individual buyers, we can create more business value in buyers’ eyes.

I’ve heard M&A advisors get a sale percentage fee for closing a transaction – can I afford it?

Yes, you can. In fact, you can’t afford NOT to hire an advisor if you want to earn top dollar for your business. Our services are often paid for by a factor of ten based on how much business value we create prior to the sale. Our fee is nominal compared to the final amount we help you reap from your business.

Why does Catalyst believe it can increase the value of my business more than other expert advisors?

Because in the equipment rental industry, no other firm has the industry knowledge, market insights and buyer relationships that we have. We can create maximum business value because we know what attracts individual buyers and we can expertly position your company to align with each buyer’s specific motivations and business objectives.

I’ve been contacted by a company that's interested in buying my business. Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to handle it myself and let them manage the paperwork?

No, if you handle it yourself, it will be more complicated than you expect and you won’t yield as much value from the transaction. Selling your business is one of the biggest transactions in your life and getting the best deal requires expert representation. Transactions are very complex, and if you’re unsure of how to negotiate each step, you many end up with a lower sale price and deal terms that aren’t advantageous to your future goals or the business legacy you’ve built.

I don’t know if or when I’ll sell my company, but I’m curious about my options. Is there a reason to contact Catalyst now?

Yes, the reason to contact us now is to take advantage of our advisory services. The sooner you begin analyzing your business and understanding the market, the better prepared you’ll be for any future business decisions. We maintain relationships with owners for years to help them elevate their businesses. We offer objective advice on your best options, whether that’s to sell today, in the future or not at all. We will not pressure you to sell. We’ll guide you toward making the best business decision when the time is right for you.

How do I know when it’s the right time to sell my company?

If you’re going it alone, it may be difficult to decide. However, in an advisory relationship with Catalyst, we’ll ensure you reach an informed decision you can feel confident about. We do this by helping you define your professional and personal goals. We educate you about the business options that will best achieve your goals. We stay on top of market conditions and potential buyers in order to guide you toward the ideal time and present you with the best opportunities.

How do I know you’ll find a good buyer for my business?

Because we know all of them personally. Our founders worked directly in the equipment rental industry and we have long-standing relationships with executive-level buyers, sellers and other third-party industry experts. We know first-hand what each buyer is looking for in a deal and we make sure it aligns with your goals and protects your legacy.

I don’t want the word to get out that I’m selling the company. How do you handle confidentiality?

All potential buyers are pre-qualified and only serious buyers are invited to the process. They must sign an NDA prior to receiving information about your company. Additionally, we know it’s important that employees be shielded from the process and we are experienced at being extremely discreet in all interactions with them.

An industry peer sold a similar business and he said it sold for a multiple of ‘X’ – can I expect the same?

No, not necessarily. But that does not mean that you won’t get the maximum value for your business. It means that multiples aren’t a good way to determine value. A company’s multiple is determined after a comprehensive business valuation, not before. There are many factors that determine business value, including market conditions, buyer synergies, projected financial performance and company risk profile. Only an expert who understands all aspects can help you accurately determine – and optimize – the true value of your business.

If I hire Catalyst, how do I know that you’re really looking out for my best interests?

Because that’s our job and our commitment. Our outstanding reputation was earned because of how well we take care of our clients. Our role is to understand your personal and business goals and then fight like hell to help you achieve them. We only win when we help clients execute a successful transaction on their terms, on their timeline, and for optimal value.

How long will it take to sell my business?

Typical transactions take four to six months to close. Larger deals between larger companies with more complex considerations may take a year or more. However, it’s worth the time required to close the transaction successfully and smoothly. Selling your business is a big decision, and our goal is to do it right, not fast. This ensures you get the most out of the transaction.

Private Equity Portfolio Company Sales

Our PE firm wants to sell off an equipment rental company in our portfolio. How can Catalyst help?

We will optimize the value of your business so you harvest maximum returns on your investment. We use our unmatched industry domain expertise to analyze your business and create superior value prior to market presentation. Next, we give you access to our large network of pre-qualified buyers to generate competitive tension and bids. Then, we navigate and manage the complex negotiations process to ensure the deal closes smoothly and efficiently.

We typically use an investment bank to run the process during a sale – how could you be as good as them?

We run a comprehensive process just like theirs. However, we have a distinct advantage over investment banks: we bring the domain expertise and buyer network that results in the best deal outcome. Our unmatched industry knowledge and relationships enable us to customize our process to exactly what each individual buyer wants, greatly increasing your odds of success.

We're acquiring portfolio businesses in the equipment rental, industrial services and environmental services sectors. How can Catalyst help?

We’ll help you achieve portfolio expansion plans by connecting your firm with our broad network of potential sellers. Our founders worked directly in the equipment rental industry and we have relationships with the largest companies as well as the small entrepreneur-owned businesses. Based on your fund objectives, we can advise you on which companies are ideal acquisition targets.

Strategic Buyers

We’ve acquired companies on our own without any intermediaries. If an acquisition target partners with Catalyst, how will it improve the transaction process?

Buyers usually welcome our involvement because we lower the transaction risk and increase the odds that the deal will be successfully closed to the satisfaction of both parties. Due to our deep understanding of sellers’ businesses, we can help you determine if the deal is truly aligned with your growth objectives.

How does Catalyst help us reduce transaction risk?

When you acquire a business without an expert intermediary, you run the risk of experiencing more problems during the transaction process when sellers aren’t doing what’s expected or if disagreements arise. We know how to negotiate difficult or nuanced situations to get them resolved and keep the deal moving forward.

How can Catalyst’s involvement improve our relationships with future acquisition targets?

If you’ve ever inadvertently made sellers feel as though they were taken advantage of during transactions, it can leave a bad taste in their mouths. Negative word-of-mouth can damage your company’s reputation and make future acquisition targets more resistant to considering your company as a buyer. We can help you maintain a stellar industry reputation so future sellers will enthusiastically welcome your company as a potential buyer.

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