If you have prepared your company for sale, your data room is filled with meaningful information, you have clarified in which form you want to sell your company, in the form of a share deal or an asset deal and a meaningful, attractive and reviewed exposé on your company is available, the search for potential buyers can begin.
For this phase at the latest, it is advisable to involve a neutral consulting firm with M&A experience. Involving a consulting firm has several advantages: The consulting firm knows the usual process of a company mediation. It can use specific expertise and capacity for the mediation; both are usually not available in-house, and you can concentrate on your business. It can draw attention to the availability of your business initially in anonymous form in the market. Thus, at this early stage, neither employees nor market peers learn of your intention to sell. This saves you from unrest in the business and in the market. In addition, a consulting firm specializing in business brokerage will have greater market reach and penetration than you. This increases the chances of finding a candidate.
The candidate search is usually initiated by means of an anonymized OnePager asking for letters of interest. The listing of these letters of interest leads to a growing longlist.
Watch out for letters from consultants who signal that they have a prospective buyer. This is because consultants often do not have a prospective buyer; they are simply looking to contact you to obtain a referral mandate from you.
Once you have found suitable potential buyers, the selection must take place.