Long-term Relationships Result in Higher Profit for Seller

Situation Overview:

The owner of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company worked with WBL to prepare for the sale of his business.

“We worked with WBL for many years before we were ready to sell and they helped us put together a five-year exit plan,” the owner said. “They gave us great advice which put us in a much better tax position.”

During the transaction, WBL helped identify an issue that could have resulted in significant financial consequences to the seller. Because of WBL’s longstanding and close working relationship with the seller and his attorneys, the team was able to work together quickly to address the issue.

Issue:

The purchase agreement failed to properly account for the impact of the acquiring company’s new debt facility. As a result, the value of the seller’s interest in the acquiring company was overstated. This issue had the potential to reduce the sales price to the seller by 10% at the closing.

Action:

WBL’s tax team and the attorneys had worked together for several years on behalf of the client. Their close working relationship facilitated the exchange of information because, as the owner says, there was a level of professional trust.

“When WBL identified the issue they were able to work quickly with the attorneys to address it because they had a long history of open communication. It was a manager at WBL who was handling the day-to-day details of the deal who did a great job of catching the potential issue and making sure everyone understood how we should move forward.”

Impact:

Addressing the issue prior to closing benefited the owner by millions of dollars. He says bringing a thorough and proactive accounting firm onto his team several years in advance of his sale was the key to the success of his transaction. 

“I think it says a lot about how a firm is organized and managed when a manager has the skill and confidence to raise a concern and make sure it’s addressed. There was tremendous benefit to our accounting and law firms having a successful history of working well together. I knew that if anything came up in the deal, they would be right there with me. To any business owner planning at some point to sell your company, and that’s pretty much all of us, I say that having Williams Benator & Libby doing your accounting all along will put you in a very good position.”