Building Your Business Worth with a Partial Sale

By Generational Equity


“Partial sales are different. They can raise capital, incentivize employees or start ownership transitions.” – Investopedia

We have met thousands of business owners over the years, both in developing their optimal exit strategies and through our executive conferences. What these meetings make abundantly clear is that many do not understand what M&A can do for them and their companies. It is not simply about selling it to the highest bidder – our team Generational Equity goes far beyond that.

From building strategic partnerships with interested investors, to our Roadmap to Enhancing Value (REV), we help business owners achieve their ambitions in several meaningful ways – not just exit for the optimal price.

That leads onto the topic of this piece: the partial sale of your business. Perhaps you aren’t interested in selling 100% of your company. Fortunately, selling does not need to have an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. Partial sales have grown in popularity in the middle market as a way to fund overall business growth.

For example, a few years ago we helped create a partial sale structure for the owners of Orbis Logistics, allowing them to retain partial ownership and participate in the future growth of the company by partnering with a platform company funded by a private equity firm.  This approach can prove beneficial to company owners lacking the capital to pursue their ambitions in any sector, whether you choose to sell a company asset or a percentage of the business as a whole.

Why Would You Consider a Partial Sale?

The real benefit of a partial sale is this gives you the capital to grow your business to the level you want to be at. In this situation, an M&A advisory firm would identify buyers that are interested in partnering with you and retain you post-acquisition in a minority ownership role. Once this investor has been located, it will be a case of determining the right deal structure that both parties are happy with, from determining what roles you will take in the company’s direction to the incentives on both sides.

With the right advice and guidance, such as what you’d receive from our skilled dealmakers at Generational Equity, a partial sale can be the perfect win-win scenario. You receive the financial backing you need to expand your business, and the investor can reap the benefits of this growth.

Pros and Cons of a Partial Sale

“Owning a business is very stressful, and that is largely due to the fact we want to be successful. But now we have a lot more financial capital behind us that puts a lot of that stress at ease. Not only for me personally, but our employees also – we have the opportunity to grow internally and through other companies.” – Brad Hennrich, Post Transaction Benefits of a Partial Sale

Of course, with every deal structure, there are several positives and negatives compared to other options. As previously mentioned, if you find the right buyer and approach the right team to construct your deal, these strategic partnerships can be a big boost for your company.

Potential benefits include:

  • Additional resources for the business while maintaining partial ownership
  • Keeping a substantial influence in company operations and directing growth
  • You can get a ‘second bite of the apple’ when the new entity is sold or taken public a few years down the road
  • Chance to gain insight and support from partners that are experts in your field
  • May reduce financial and emotional stress

However, there can be drawbacks if your deal isn’t structured correctly, particularly post-acquisition. You will likely transition from being the sole decision-maker in your business to working alongside other owners. How successful this change will be depends on your personality and approach to your business – if you feel you would be uncomfortable working with others, a partial sale might not work for you.

As part of Generational Equity’s process, our advisors will have several frank conversations about your goals, preferences and requirements to help find the right buyer and setup the right structure. There are many options available to you, and we make it our aim to find the ideal one for you.

Deciding on Your Deal Structure

If you are one of the many entrepreneurs in need of capital to fund business growth, a partial sale might be the perfect plan of action. Why not discuss this at one of our executive conferences? These are completely complimentary, and are held regularly across North America. Here, you will not only get a comprehensive guide to the M&A process and advice on building the optimal exit strategy, but the opportunity to discuss your company goals with our experienced team.

These talks will give you a clearer idea about how to fulfil these ambitions, be it through a partial sale, a strategic partnership, a capital infusion or simply exiting your business outright. In just a few short hours, our executive conferences will give you a clearer picture of the future of your business.

Contact our team at Generational Equity today at 972-232-1121 for more information on when we are next in your area.