Six Options For Financing Acquisitions

When it is time to arrange the financing for an acquisition, it is important to be creative. When seeking money to buy a company, you will notice that a number of community banks, typically big funders of certain acquisitions, are encountering difficulty due to their degraded residential (builders) loan portfolio. Creativity can make the difference between accessing capital or canceling the acquisition, especially now when credit markets are tighter.Here are some options for financing acquisitions:1. Owner financing / seller financing – Go to the seller first. Who is better prepared to finance the business than the person or company who owned it? They know the business better than anyone and are most familiar with its risks. In the current environment, you should be able to get 40-70% of the business financing via owner financing. You must convince the seller you are a good risk, just as you would have to convince a bank.2. Supplier or vendor financing – The target company’s suppliers and vendors are a good source of financing. Their business is likely to increase under your new ownership. (i.e., If you do not intend to grow the business, why would you buy it?) Leverage that growth in their business to negotiate for financing from them. If the target company has been a good customer, the supplier is knowledgeable about the business and will understand the inherent risks better than a typical bank. Note that if you are an existing business acquiring another business, you can pursue financing from your suppliers and vendors. The same reasons apply.3. Mezzanine financing or private equity funding – Mezzanine and private equity funds that serve the small and medium markets raised large sums of money before the market meltdown. They therefore have money to spend and are looking for great opportunities. With fewer people and companies making acquisitions right now even though multiples are very low, now is a great time to obtain mezzanine financing. The target company typically will need revenue of $10 – $20 million and higher and EBITDA of $2 – 3 million and more to be interesting to a mezzanine or private equity fund. Why? These funds have to spend large amounts in a relatively short period of time (5-7 years) so they need larger deals.4. Bank debt – If the target company has a lot of medium to long-term assets in addition to good cash flow and a strong profit margin, you should have relatively few problems finding bank financing. However, if you want to buy a service company which has a lot of receivables and other short term assets, you may encounter difficulty. Find a bank that has a history of financing the type of company you are buying. Also, talk to the seller’s banker. If the seller has a strong banking relationship, the banker will know the business well, increasing the likelihood that that bank will provide financing in order to retain the relationship and the itinerant deposit accounts.5. Receivables financing – If you find it difficult to obtain bank financing, pursue account receivables financing firms. They can provide term loans and lines of credits against the receivables. Although the interest rate will be higher, these firms are more familiar with receivables financing and thus often more comfortable with lending against receivables.6. Pre-paid sales – Approach the target’s customers and ask them to make a bulk purchase or pre-pay for several months’ or a year’s worth of products or services in exchange for a strong discount.These are some acquisition funding options to stimulate your own creative thinking and approach. There are other alternatives, some of which may be unique to your particular business.

Is a Home-based Business Right For You?

If you are searching for a great way to have a successful income and you like the thought of doing it from the comfort of your own home then a home-based business could indeed be right for you. Many people think of home-based businesses as being easier than an outside of the home business, but the truth is this is not so. Home-based businesses bring their own type of stress and challenges.The only way to know if home – based businesses going to be right for you and your lifestyle, is to weigh the pros and cons that it brings. Every year more and more home-based businesses startup. There are over 15 million people the describe themselves as being self-employed, meaning that they basically own their own business. The good news is that working from home with your own home base business is now accepted as a viable and lucrative alternative to working outside the home for someone else.Thanks to the constant changes and improvements in technology, working from home has become easier and easier. Basically, people from all over the world can network, and this makes a home-based business even more of a lucrative possibility. Of course you have to be technology minded in order to succeed in a home-based business. You need to at least have the basics down. You also need equipment, which would be a computer, a high-speed Internet connection, and the phone. Depending on the work at home business that you have, will depend on how technologically advanced you need to be.Some of the immediate advantages of having your own business are the freedom that you will have. Plus, you have the ability to make your own decisions and not have to rely on a boss that tells you what to do. You can set your own hours, you work when and how long you want. You get to choose the people that you work with, or in this case, don’t work with. Many people find that having a home-based business allows them to fulfil their potential. If you don’t feel that you are able to achieve everything that’s possible for you in an outside the house job then owning your own business lets you aim as high as you want. You are in charge of your own life.The disadvantages of having a home-based business must be realized as well, because if you’re unprepared you could find that your business will fail. The first and the most obvious risk is going to be financial uncertainty. If for some reason the worst happens and you either don’t find clients, or find clients that don’t pay you, you need to determine if you can afford to lose the capital that you have invested in the business, or that you need to live. Having your own business generally will mean the you wont have benefits. If you’re going to have benefits than you have to determine if you can afford that.Running your own business takes a lot of time and energy and some people get burned out. Work at home business owners are particularly susceptible to this because they generally handle all aspects of the business. The fact that you are home alone and working by yourself most of the time can be a negative aspect for some people. Some cannot handle the isolation factor. Another con to home-based businesses is an unsupportive family. If you cannot make your family understand that you actually are working, or if you work so much that you never spend time with your family this can cause many difficulties.

Venture Leasing – How to Get Financing For Custom-Made Equipment

Tiffany Charles, CFO of Medtech Solutions, was facing a difficult challenge. Medtech, a venture-backed startup in business for two years, needed test equipment critical to its operations. While test equipment is widely available for most test applications, the tests to be conducted at Medtech required custom-made equipment offered by only one US manufacturer. Medtech had raised sufficient venture capital to fund most of its research and development projects, but the custom-made equipment’s cost would require an unacceptably large percentage of Medtech’s research budget, limiting investments in other key areas. Tiffany explored manufacturer financing and contacted several leasing firms, but to no avail. How would Tiffany acquire the equipment that Medtech needed without using internal funds critical for other projects?Why custom-equipment financing is so difficult to obtainPotential financing sources approach requests for this type financing cautiously. Most financing for venture-backed startups involves a high degree of risk in comparison to financing established companies. Financing sources that extend credit to venture-backed startups are accustomed to accepting startup risks. These risks include financing companies that are relatively new to their markets, that have negative cash flow, and that rely on venture capital sponsorship to stay afloat. Notwithstanding these risks, most financing sources are reluctant to take on the added risk of financing equipment that they may be required to re-market one day, but are unable to move. Many of them know that a small percentage of the transactions they underwrite will not work out, requiring them to repossess and re-marketing the equipment to recover as much of their investment as possible. Custom-equipment presents a huge challenge in that it offers virtually no backstop should all other exit channels fail.Whether or not a venture-backed startup can obtain financing for custom-equipment might depend on several factors:
The dollar amount and percentage that the equipment represents of the total to be financed
Whether other assets can be offered as collateral to secure the transaction
The startup’s overall credit profile
Whether management can convince the financing company that the equipment is critical to operations and/or profitability
Whether an aftermarket exists and whether there is any prospect of realizing value from the equipment if re-marketing is necessary
Whether the vendor offers equipment buy-back, trade-in, or re-marketing support, if desired.
How do savvy startups overcome this financing challenge?To improve the odds of obtaining financing, startups should take the following steps:
Stick with financing firms that specialize in financing venture-backed startups. These companies understand venture risks and are in a better position to evaluate transactions involving custom-equipment.
Research the after-market for the equipment by talking to the vendor and looking for used equipment brokers/dealers online. Often, the vendor can provide resale information and used equipment resellers can be spotted online via advertisements and postings. Make sure you provide your re-marketing research to the financing firm.
Explore re-marketing assistance with the vendor, including equipment buy-backs, trade-ins, or other vendor re-marketing arrangements. Depending on the vendor, customers may be able to lobby for special re-marketing arrangements as a purchase incentive.
Consider other assets that the startup might pledge to support the transaction. The main concern of the financing source is being able to exit the transaction should the startup default in making payments. By offering additional collateral to support the transaction, the startup may be able to alleviate or greatly reduce this concern.
Try to schedule custom-equipment purchases along with other equipment that has an established aftermarket, such that the custom-equipment represents a minority of the equipment being acquired. Similar to offering additional equipment as collateral, by bundling custom-equipment with readily re-marketable equipment, the overall collateral value of the bundle might be sufficient to calm the financing provider’s concerns.
Highlight the critical nature of the equipment. If it is critical to the startup’s profitability or operations and loss of the equipment’s use would put the startup in a significantly weaker position, the prospect of obtaining financing is somewhat improved. The rationale is that the financing source will have a relative advantage vis-à-vis other creditors in any company wind-down because the equipment might be needed to restructure the company or to assist other creditors in their recovery. While this is not a primary reason for financing custom-made equipment, it is a factor considered by most financing sources in making a final decision.
If your startup needs financing for custom-made equipment, use these tips and insights to navigate your search.

Are You Choosing the Right Stock Market Advisory Company

What do you do if you want to learn driving a car? You will try to find an expert teacher, isn’t it? You do not want to avail the services of a novice individual to help you out, but a professional person can provide you the vital tips and most importantly guide you efficiently. Similarly, when it comes to investing in the stock market for the first time, you require a knowledgeable advice to attain your financial goals and get profitable returns.

If you are a beginner, then it is quite obvious that you may be having no information about the process of buying the right shares in the market. In such a situation, getting the right tips from an experienced financial advisor or a registered advisory company will truly prove to be a great blessing in disguise. However, there are some of the important things that have to be kept in mind while choosing the top stock market advisory company, which are as follows:

How much assistance do you actually require?

Before you make up your mind to hire an advisor, it is imperative that you must first decide about the kind of service you require from them. You may need their help at the beginning or during the time of any issues. This is because an advisor has to formulate a map according to your requirements. Hence, it is suggested to ascertain your needs first and then take further action.

Choose a top ranked advisory company

It is a very important point that has to be taken into the consideration. Availing services of the well known advisory company or a financial advisor is an absolute necessity. Make it a point to carry out a proper background or research work about the company. Check out their credentials, reputation, experience, etc before hiring them.

Asking for a sample financial plan initially makes sense

When hiring a financial advisor, then do not forget to ask for sample plan first. It is imperative to note that there is no such thing called the perfect plan. A sample plan will help you to determine whether an advisory company is actually making sense according your requirements or not.

Conclusion

The financial planners or advisory companies can really turn out to be the greatest asset for you if you choose the best one. They are just like the professional sailors who can help you out to sail through stock investment related problems quite efficiently.

Deepak is a financial advisor who likes to provide quality tips to the people facing any issues with regard to investing in the stock market. He likes to keep himself updated about the stock market by reading articles, news and blogs, etc.

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