Buying or Selling a Company in Buffalo, Rochester, or Western New York?

If you’re a business owner, and are looking to sell your business or acquire/merge with another company, take a couple of minutes to read this. It could save you thousands of dollars and many valuable hours of your time.

I’ve built and sold several companies over the past 25 years. To date, I have not worked with a company that is less reputable, more greedy, and as arrogant as the one in this brief story.

I had spent the prior 15 years building a great company, doing good things, with the help of many great team members. When it came time to move along, sell the business, and start a new chapter, I reached out to a local company that claimed to specialize in “investment banking,” helping companies to buy and sell businesses.

Their contract stated that either party could terminate at any time, with written notice. It also stated that if the agreement was terminated, they would still be entitled to their “success” fee if the business was sold to anyone that a) they identified as a potential buyer, or b) anyone that they contacted on my behalf regarding the sale.

I ended up terminating their agreement and selling the business without them, to a company that they neither identified, nor contacted on my behalf. Can you guess what happened next?

That is correct. These people decided that it was in their best interest to sue me for their “success fee,” regardless of their own terms and conditions. In addition to being sued for something they were not entitled to, they were paid high 5-figures to produce incomplete work. This unprofessional production looked as though it had been created in the 1995 version of Word Perfect, at the hands of 12 year old.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the details. However, I do encourage you to reach out to me before potentially hiring these people, and to prevent you from making a huge mistake.

Seriously consider, would you hire a mergers & acquisitions firm that is happy to sue a client who would likely create and sell additional businesses, a client who is affiliated, and in regular communication, with a network of more than 15,000 other entrepreneurs who could be potential clients? Every client they lose or don’t get is costing them multiples more than they could potentially make, due to this petty and childish lawsuit.

Good strategy, guys.

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