August 14, 2014

Pushing one’s luck

I don’t find it particularly reasonable when people put themselves in a dangerous position, only to say “I was lucky” when things work out. I have a different phrase: “Pushing one’s luck”.

One of our clients received a good offer from an international company for the partial sale of his business. Following our work on improving the conditions of the offer by utilizing competition and bringing another bidder to the table, the value of the offer was increased by approximately 30%. The price quoted in the second competitive offer we received was a little higher than the renegotiated price given by the first purchaser. But there was a key difference: the second offer was from a company our client didn’t want to partner with.

Sale of shares in SMEs is a personal affair. It isn’t only about the sales value, which is made up of the price and financial conditions. Personal considerations and preferences play a very important role.

When we asked our client about his thoughts, he wanted the best of both worlds: he wanted to have the first company as his partner, but for the price and conditions offered by the second. During our evaluation meeting, I told him that considering the negotiations we’d been through, it would be extremely difficult to get the result he wanted. I told him that sometimes, just one extra sentence added to the agreement could cause a buyer to withdraw.

Our client decided to think on it.

That night the CEO of the first company called me to give us some news – information he hadn’t been able to tell us previously. His company was actually in the process of being acquired itself, and acquisition discussions had been going on for some time. He still wanted to acquire our client’s shares, but he was now bound by the demands of his potential acquirer. For the deal to go through, we had a new deadline to accept the offer – noon the next day. I called our client.

He accepted the offer immediately. You can only push your luck so far.

If you would like to view a video of some other lucky people, please click here.

The oldie of the week: Olivia Newton-John – Hopelessly Devoted To You (1978)

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