Approaching sales from both sides

By James Lay, Larking Gowen.

What is the measure of a successful business deal? Is it about driving a hard bargain and being on the winning side, or should there be a more measured approach where everyone benefits?

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24

James Lay, Larking Gowen

In our experience, the best business deals come about through collaboration and partnership between all parties. In any transaction, if you aim for a win-win situation rather than a win-lose, you are much more likely to achieve a successful deal with fewer problems down the line.

Any sale of a business is a team effort. As lead deal advisors, our job is to bring them all together, working as one for a successful outcome.

Finding the Right Buyer

In a recent transaction, our team at Larking Gowen helped the owners of AFA Fostering sell to BSN Social Care.

As an independent fostering agency working with local authorities across East Anglia and the Midlands, AFA was keen to find a compatible buyer who would maintain the ethos of the business and continue to provide excellent service to children, families and the local authorities in the region.

We first worked with the business ten years ago in a minority shareholder buy-out and had stayed in touch during that time so had a good understanding of it.

The owners wanted the business to be in safe hands from the outset. Part of our role was to carefully target and approach potential buyers and carry out negotiations. This all had to be done in a discreet and confidential way. Because we really got to know AFA and have a wide knowledge of acquisitive buyers across a variety of sectors, we were able to offer appropriate options and find the right match.

A Common Ethos

We worked very closely with the buyer and their teams. We all wanted the same thing so why not work together to achieve it? The advantage was that the culture and ethos of the buyer and seller were closely aligned, which meant common ground was more easily found on the inevitable issues which arise during the later stages of negotiation.

Nigel Pickering, director and shareholder of AFA Fostering Limited, told us: “We felt it was important to have the right team around us. One who would take the time to understand our ethos and the legacy we wanted to leave. With Larking Gowen’s support, we were able to select a buyer who was compatible with the great business we had created.”

Ultimately, a successful corporate transaction is about listening to what your client wants and creating a bespoke deal around their requirements. You must also maintain confidentiality at all times.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the information contained in this article may not be comprehensive and recipients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice. ©Larking Gowen

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Get in Touch

James Lay is Corporate Transactions and Business Advisory Partner at Larking Gowen. For more information on how Larking Gowen can help you achieve your business goals, please get in touch.

T: 01603 723655
Or visit

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