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11/25/2016 by Greg Gush​

Small Business Lower Market M & A Work Can Be Challenging.

Non-financial items can become crucial in driving asset valuations and ultimate results for Small Business Owners. 

The goal of maximizing asset value for the small business, lower market business owner is often more challenging for the Merger & Acquisition Advisor than might be readily apparent.

Developing a ‘go to market’ strategy by the M & A Advisor first requires that the Advisor not only familiarize himself or herself with the financials, but also take into account many other items characterizing the business. An Opinion of Value done by the M & A Advisor will uncover these. Often these non-financial items can play more significantly in the ultimate sale of the business than core financial metrics.  (Adjusted EBITDA Multiples) They often drive valuations up significantly or conversely, create deal-killing discounts. For the informed M & A Advisor they drive strategy and results.

Those items include patents, licenses, history of the business, reputation, client list, product or service uniqueness, quality and depth of management team, longevity, legal issues and location, to name a few.

Let’s look at one common case, where the Owner is an operating owner wearing two hats. The owner runs the company and in addition performs one of the key management functions of the business. He runs a sales & marketing channel or a product development focus. Sales & Marketing is often most common. This can be a deal killer for many buyers. They may feel business will walk out the door with the owner. It’s important the owner provide a clear replacement option.

The M&A Advisor can build a go to market strategy with this in mind. Focusing on strategic buyers, where the sales and marketing channel are an expertise of the buyer, and thus will mitigate the buyer risk and may even increase the attractiveness of the selling company by creating a cost saving in the post  merger or post acquisition entity.

We’ll look later at more examples of how the M&A Advisor can maximize value and success by considering these non-financial issues in small market businesses.

Gregory S. Gush
Licensed Investment Banker & Business Broker

11/04/2016 By Greg Gush

​A Good Approach to Selecting a Mergers & Acquisition Adviser:
First Get a Complementary Opinion of Value.

So, as a business owner I’ve narrowed my search to a handful of Mergers &
Acquisition Advisers from referrals and website searches. They all seem
professional and are all licensed. Reviewing their listing they have no
violations on their records. Now what do I do?

Wouldn’t it be great if I could find out how working with this group might actually
be in a real event? How do they approach the challenge of valuating my business?
What is their level of professionalism and knowledge? And, what might my business
sell for in the current marketplace?

One great way to begin to answer some of these questions is to ask for a
Complementary Opinion of Value. That’s right. I ask them to offer a complementary
opinion of value. It’s an opinion, their opinion, as to what they believe my business
will sell for or be valued. There are companies that may offer that. Yes. But most
will not.

Good. Now that I have found one Mergers & Acquisition group of advisers that will
give me a complementary Opinion of Value, I ask what will it answer for me? First,
It’s complementary, so I know I’ll not be putting out a big upfront fee that may tell
me something that just doesn’t work for me. I’ll get to know the group, and
understand their communication skills, their processes, and their knowledge and

Secondly, I’ll also find out what my business might sell for today. Great! As an
Opinion of Value, they will give me that selling range and their rationale. Good!
Most likely their rationale will be based on market comps. In other words, it will tell
me what other businesses in my industry, my industry segment, and my size are
listed or sold for. Great! This is a great early step for me. I can understand a
market-based comp opinion of value. Other methods, such as Asset Based
Valuations, Book Value, Liquidation Value, Historical Earnings, Capitalization of
Earnings or Future Earnings are more complex and offer answers to other
questions, but nonetheless are as valuable and necessary for their particular focus.

If I like working with this group and the results of the Opinion of Value fall within
my range of pricing for my business, I’ll engage them, or at least move forward with
serious consideration that might include their specific strategy to market my

Gregory S. Gush
Licensed Investment Banker & Business Broker

10/16/2016 By Greg Gush

Now is a good time for Action For Company Divestiture

or Investment via Acquisition.

Engage us to help with your divestiture or acquisition plans. Complementary Opinion of Value offered.

Markets have come back strong since the 2008 crisis. Things are recalibrating, and the markets are looking for growth.

•    Interest rates are low.  Capital is cheap.
•    Valuations are not euphoric. 
•    Inflation is low.
•    Oil prices are low.  
•    Growth might be slow, but still growing.
•    First signs of Fed tightening. 
•    Moderate interest rates good for banks.
•    Normalizing interest rates in mid term will stabilize finance markets.

Whether you are contemplating selling, bank financing, or a round of capital, this kind of information can assist in determining your course of action.

No matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, you should rest on the foundation of:   Regardless of who wins, plan accordingly and stick to the basics.

​Gregory S. Gush
Licensed Investment Banker & Business Broker

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