Preparing Your Business For Strategic Acquisition Part II

In my previous post, I listed key legal steps that businesses can take to prepare themselves for strategic acquisition.  This time around, I thought it would be helpful to enlist a investment banking colleague with expertise in selling businesses for a more comprehensive discussion on preparing a business for exit.   

Shawn Thomson heads up the West Coast M&A practice at BCMS Corporate, a global investment bank specializing in lower middle market companies.  In this interview, Shawn and I discuss his list of the top 7 things business owners and executive teams can do today to prepare their business for sale.  

Shawn's list addresses the more common seller-side snafus he encounters in the M&A process, including the following:  

  1. Maintaining quality financials
  2. Installing second line management
  3. Establishing good working capital practices
  4. Clarifying exit strategy and seller goals
  5. Consider market factors and timing
  6. Clear up disputes and uncertainies
  7. Early tax and estate planning

In our 50 minute interview, I ask Shawn to dive into each of these in more detail with the goal of helping owners and executive teams put sound business practices in place today to maximize the likelihood and value of their future exit.    

Click below to download or listen.  We hope you find the interview helpful.


Francesco Barbera

Francesco Barbera is a corporate attorney representing emerging growth companies in a wide range of industries, including software, technology, digital, fashion, health care, retail and e-commerce.

He counsels entrepreneurs, investors and established companies on the full range of their business activities, from formation through raising capital, growth and acquisition. He has special expertise in the representation of mission-driven organizations and social enterprises. 

Throughout his career, he has represented the National Broadcasting Corporation, the Grammy Museum, Ares Capital Management, Credit Suisse First Boston, as well as privately held businesses in internet, media and technology, mobile applications, consumer products, professional sports, film and television production, among others over the course of his career. 

Francesco began his legal career at two large, international law firms in Los Angeles, where he represented large and small enterprises in a broad range of transactions, from mergers and acquisitions to public and private securities offerings to the formation of partnerships and joint ventures.

Francesco is also the Co-Chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.A lifelong student of psychology and personal development, Francesco holds a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and has been trained and mentored by numerous leaders in the personal development arena, including Steve Chandler, Byron Katie and George and Linda Pransky. 

Francesco has also founded and represented non-profit initiatives.

He has served as outside counsel to the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a charter school dedicated to training the next generation of social and political leaders, and he is the founder and former Executive Director of SpiritWalk, a non-profit fundraiser created to benefit the University of Santa Monica.  

Francesco’s writing has appeared in The American LawyerCalifornia LawyerSlate, and others. He served as the Supreme Court columnist and Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Record and was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Penn History Review, the first Ivy League journal in the country dedicated to the publication of undergraduate historical research.

Francesco is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, cum laude, and the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.