EPISODE #52: MARC P. BERNEGGER (SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR)
1:33 – What mistakes do Swiss startups make repeatedly when it comes to their exit?
13:44 – Keeping investors satisfied
22:50 – What founders get from an exit
30:57 – When should you sell your company?
33:28 – Requirements for trade sale exit
The Episode in 60 Seconds
Finding the right exit strategy for you and your company.
Getting the basics right
- Look beyond Switzerland for potential buyers
- If you can, get help from specialized M&A boutiques
- Broaden your shareholder base to get easy access to new markets and industries
Selecting the right partner and deal
- Institutional investors usually curtail the entrepreneurial freedom of the founder more strongly than non-institutional investors such as family offices.
- Aggressive growth often leads to the founders being left with very small stakes in the company once the time for an exit has arrived.
- Don’t select buyers based on valuation but based on their values aligning with yours. Don’t forget that most likely, you will still be obliged to work in your company for a few years after it has been acquired.
- The price of an acquisition is often split in a fixed part and a variable part, called earn-out, that gets paid out on defined targets and incentives over the duration of 1-5 years.
Depends on several factors:
- Can the company still realize significantly more growth in the future?
- Do you still have the passion and energy to drive the business forward?
- M&A (Merger and Acquisition): Selling of the companies assets or shares. For smaller companies with revenue generally above $ 10m.
- IPO (Initial Public Offering): Listing of the company on a public stock exchange. Usually not feasible for revenue below $ 200m.