M&A Services — Exit Planning Strategies


Whether you are interested in selling your business today, in two years or in five years, the financial advisors at California Equity Group can assist you with developing a successful Exit Strategy from your privately held company on your timetable and on your terms and conditions.

Using our propriety process EquityExit™, the financial advisors at California Equity Group will work with you, and your management team designates, to develop a comprehensive road map that integrates financial, legal, tax, personal, and business issues involved in the sale, merger, or divestiture of your company.

Your financial advisor’s goal is to achieve your objectives by:

  1. Assisting you with development of your exit strategy objectives and goals.
  2. Providing you with referrals to develop your Exit Strategy advisory team.
  3. Determining your business’ current value and Gap Analysis.
  4. Identifying strategies to build and maintain your business' value.
  5. Identifying succession and Exit Strategy options.
  6. Selecting the most appropriate exit route based upon your Exit Strategy objectives.
  7. Executing the Exit Strategy.

Your financial advisor’s goal is to achieve your objectives by:

  • Maximizing your net proceeds at the time of your exit.
  • Minimizing the taxes you have to pay upon exiting.
  • Ensuring that the price and terms you receive meet or exceed your post-exit objectives.
  • Making certain that your other non-financial objectives are met.
  • Ensuring that you are advised and prepared to manage your post exit wealth.

Exit Planning Overview

Exit Planning is a deliberate, thoughtful and flexible process that company owners/shareholders use to leave the company on their terms and timetables. It is a comprehensive process tailored to your particular goals and objectives.

The financial advisors at California Equity Group will help you ask the right questions to formulate and execute the most effective Exit Strategy to maximize the value received from your transition.

Start your plan now. Whether your objective is to maximize the capital gain from the sale, merger, or divestiture of your company interest, secure a comfortable retirement, maintain the viability of your company, ensure employment for the current work force, or pass ownership on to other family members, action to develop and implement your plan should start immediately. If the Exit Plan is not complete in advance of need, it will be done in crisis with potentially devastating results.

Exit Strategy Objectives


As the owner of a privately held company, you have two key roles, one of CEO and one of shareholder. As the CEO, it is your job to make the best decisions for the company. As a shareholder, it is your responsibility to make the best decisions about your investment in the company. When it is time to execute your Exit Strategy, these two roles can be in conflict. Therefore, effective Exit Planning must take into account the differing needs of each role.

It is vital to a successful Exit Strategy to time your exit. Receiving the best price and terms for your company interest often requires selling, merging, or divesting at the most opportune time. This means paying close attention to market and business conditions in your industry.

The financial advisors at CEG will advise you regarding market conditions such as interest rates, business brokerage trends, and the availability of investment capital. The ownership and management of the company should be aware of business conditions involving trends in the industry endemic to the company, which will increase or decrease its value.

The financial advisors at CEG will assist you in developing your objectives by asking you the following initial questions:

  • At what point in time do you want to exit from the company?
  • Is the best new ownership for the company a strategic buyer, a financial buyer, a buyer group, an individual buyer, other shareholders, existing management or employees, or family members?
  • When do you want liquidity from your investment in this company to invest in something else or invest in retirement?
  • How much income do you need from the exit of this company to achieve your financial objectives?

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Mergers & Acquisitions

“ Michael, I am writing you to personally thank you for the many ways you helped me sell my business and realize my dream of retiring. I am hopeful that this letter will effectively share with other company owners and buyers the extent to which you performed remarkable services for my company and me.

When we first met, you very frankly, honestly and knowledgeably assessed the value of my business. It was immediately evident that your prior investment banking experience coupled with your astute business acumen and your legal background would prove to be immensely valuable in preparing, positioning and ultimately selling the company that I took years to build. Your current appraised value for my company was not what I wanted to hear, nor was it what I needed to retire. However, you worked with me over a two-year period to develop and refine my exit strategy and to build the value of my company.

During that time, you identified the areas of my business that required attention and improvement, including assessments of marketing, financial management, operational management, and other areas and together we planned and implemented a number of value enhancing changes. You managed the process of installing a new accounting system and financial controls to redeveloping the organizational structure of my business. With your monthly and quarterly feedback of our financial and operational improvements, I became much clearer and focused on the further necessary improvements to build value so that I could attain my financial goals to retire. Your exceptional advice was unquestionably instrumental in dramatically increasing the value of my business and I cannot thank you enough for all of your thoughtful and precise advice.

Two and half years later, my company attained the goals we had laid out. You and your CEG team produced a comprehensive and high quality marketing package, and you diligently and confidentially took my company to market. After locating the perfect synergistic buyer, you successfully shepherded the process through the letter of intent, due diligence and definitive agreements stages, coordinating with my and the buyer's accountants and attorneys. Most importantly, you identified the most critical deal points and negotiated them to my advantage while leaving the buyer in a winning position for their critical deal points. The result was absolutely wonderful for everyone. I got a price well beyond what I ever expected, and one that allowed me to retire. You truly are the best in your business and I can only hope that this letter of recognition conveys my deepest appreciation for all of your considerable efforts.

Retirement is everything I hoped for and more. As the deal became real, a tremendous weight was lifted from me, and I am enjoying life more than ever imaginable-thank you again for everything!”

Thomas McCarthy, President, Du-All Thermo Products, Inc.