AMVEST Financial Group - Q&A with Charles Oppenheimer
What business size do you typically represent?
We represent companies with $10 million in sales with no upper limit. We often work buy-side assignments with subsidiaries of fortune 500 companies and private equity groups and their portfolio companies.
Does your firm focus on a particular industry or sector?
We are generalists, but many of our professionals have industry specific experience.
What geographic region does your firm cover?
Our firm focuses on the United States and to a lesser extent Canada, Mexico and Europe.
What are the components to the compensation for your service?
Compensation includes a retainer plus a success fee.
How many M&A professionals are there at your firm?
Twelve professionals work at our firm.
Describe the main services your firm provides.
Our firm provides merger, acquisition, divestiture and corporate finance services.
What other services are provided by your firm?
We also offer financing including recapitalizations, restructuring, commercial real estate, sale leasebacks, accounts receivable, factoring, strategic advisory and turnaround advisory.
What have you found to be the single largest factor in getting the highest price and terms for your client?
The seller needs to be matched with the right buyer.
What is a common misconception that you find among your clients?
There is often a lack of understanding the process and unrealistic price expectations.
How is your team unique?
Amvest’s professionals are unique in that they have acquired, operated and sold their own companies. This gives them real world experience that adds tremendous value for our clients. We have personally experienced every situation which we advise on.
Discuss a difficult-to-close transaction and what made it difficult.
There was a company that had converted from a “C” corporation to an “S” corporation 8 years prior to the sale. If the company had been sold as an asset sale it would have resulted in considerable tax implications to the seller. We found a buyer and negotiated the sale as a stock sale of the “S” corporation. Not many buyers would have done this, but our experience and extensive contacts proved to be very valuable.
Describe a tense moment at the closing table.
Leading up to the time of closing we made the decision to tell our client’s lawyer, in private, that if he was unfamiliar with representing a client in a change of control transaction we could put him in touch with a lawyer who could help. This comment came after he had redlined 47 pages of a 52 page definitive agreement. He also wanted to take out all reps and warranties. He wasted two months arguing over normal items. The decision to confront the lawyer was a tense moment, but it was a pivotal action that allowed the transaction to swiftly move to a close without further delay for our client.
Have you ever saved a client from a fraudulent buyer?
No. We check out the buyer if we don’t already know them.
What can a client do to maximize their company’s valuation or enhance the business sales experience?
Prepare the business for sale; which we call presale positioning. This shows your business in the most positive way for a potential buyer. The process should be started two years before the planned sale date.
What should a business owner do if they are potentially interested in using the services of your firm?
Visit our website at www.amvest.com and/or call me for answers to any questions you may have without obligation.