Remote Deals: Buying and selling companies during lockdown and with Tiers 1-3

Published: 1 December 2020

The good news is that if you are looking to sell your business it is still possible to do so during a COVID environment.

In a recent survey by the Corporate Finance Faculty of the ICAEW, 21% said it was easier to do a deal, 38% said harder, and the other 41% said that it was about the same.

“Zoom and Teams Culture”, whilst not everyone’s cup of tea, does make it easier for parties involved in completing a deal to actually speak to each other. As well as improved availability, collaboration is better, and that is helping company sales to complete.

One of the harder aspects is inspection of manufacturing facilities: do we organise a virtual tour via iPad etc? That understandably is not sufficient for most buyers and so with a transaction we are working on, today, we have agreed that a socially distance physical tour needs to happen.

Acquisitions need rapport between buyer and seller and their respective advisors. That is certainly harder to achieve when you have less face to face contact with the other party: especially in the final stages when tricky final points need to be dealt with.

For advisors, the hardest bit is deal origination, which means identifying buyers and sellers. In a recent article I wrote about the importance of using trusted advisors. Some advisors are resorting to a numbers game – writing to as many people as they can to try to drum up business. So, with a need for rapport in mind, be careful if you respond to an unsolicited approach from an advisory firm, who can help you sell.