“The perpetuation of ownership and the succession of management are among the most difficult challenges that a privately held business will ever encounter. The decisions surrounding these issues will determine what will become of the organization to which business owners have devoted their lives, and what will be the return on what is likely their most valuable financial asset. Yet, ironically, these critical—and complex—decisions are among those for which the owner is least prepared, since they may be confronted only once in a lifetime. Owners may have many decades of experience at managing a business, but little or no experience with the monumental task surrounding his or her exit. Should the business be sold? Should there be an outright sale? Sale of a minority interest? IPO? Leveraged ESOP? Recapitalization? What is the right time to sell? How is the business to be valued? Add to this the myriad of options available: the often divergent goals of seller and buyer; the tax, funding and legal implications of the transaction; and the nature and structure of the deal itself. The number and complexity of choices can quickly become overwhelming.”

PWC: Making the Decision to Sell Your Business