Company acquisition for more growth or the implementation of your vision
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With the acquisition of a company to more growth or the implementation of your vision

If you want to buy a company, you can get your free search profile here and also receive unpublished purchase offers. But what is the best way to present yourself as a potential buyer, strategic investor or MBI for a company? With your meaningful investor profile. Use the KERN template for this - click here >

BEST ADVISORS for SMEs award-awarded by Wirtschaftswoche

We support prospective buyers looking for the right company with our large KERN network, from targeted, efficient research to successful takeover (M&A). For example, we know a good 300,000 concrete and verified investor profiles. This is how we enable inorganic growth and the implementation of your entrepreneurial vision.

Company acquisition (M&A) with the support of our KERN network

Precise search profile

Creation of a customised profile for the targeted search for suitable companies.

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Targeted address

Addressing relevant companies and multipliers such as chambers, banks and consultants. Advertising in the most renowned M&A exchanges.

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Identification, analysis and selection of suitable target companies. Discreet direct approach and verification of readiness to sell.

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Negotiation financing partner

Negotiation and integration of a wide range of financing partners for the acquisition of a company.

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Due Diligence

LOI implementation as well as preparation and execution of the company audit (DD), negotiation and conclusion of the Company purchase agreements.

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Post Merger Integration

Optional Post Merger Integration (PMI). Aftercare for corporate development, such as integration of teams, synchronisation of mission statements.

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Guide to the purchase of a company

How your company acquisition (M&A) becomes a success. The expert guide for family businesses.

Concentrated expertise and compact information. 20 KERN experts have summarised the most important information for your successful company acquisition (M&A) on 150 pages.

It helps enormously to have a neutral personality as a contact person for all members of the family.

Our internal family succession and the coaching of my sons was handled very sensitively and with commitment by Mr Koerber. Many insights and activities would have been left out in our family without the KERN support of our generational change. It helps enormously to get an outside perspective and to have a neutral personality available as a contact person for all members of the family.

K.S., entrepreneur from Essen , Personnel service provider

Parents and children from family businesses have a very concrete benefit from this

Our clients are medium-sized companies and the challenges of generational change, company sales or emergency provisions are 'perennial issues' for us. We have been working with Mr Koerber and KERN for years and value his practical knowledge and the oriented training and coaching. Parents and children from family businesses benefit from this in a very tangible way.

W.S., further education institute from Rheda-Wiedenbrück , Head of a nationwide academy for trading companies

For us as a family business, the support provided by Mr Koerber was a great benefit

For us as a family business, combined with the many challenges of the future generation change, the support of Mr Koerber was a great benefit. Especially through mediation, we can now understand each other better and deal with conflicts differently. We recommend working with the experts from K.E.R.N. when problems arise in the succession process!

J.M., entrepreneur from Osnabrück , Manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade

I have enjoyed working with KERN very much

I have very much enjoyed working with KERN and, as a representative of the buyer side, am always pleased when sellers ? especially family businesses ? receive holistic advice and are specifically prepared for a sale.

F.H., responsible M&A manager in NRW , International services group

... Very satisfied and would recommend Kern at any time and without reservation.

What I particularly liked about Kern and Mr Ingo Claus was the very professional and trusting way in which they dealt with me as a company seller and the interested parties. Mr Claus always acted in a solution-oriented manner and was in constant dialogue between me as the seller and the potential buyers. Even though in the end the sale was not concluded, which was due to external circumstances, I was very satisfied with the work done by Kern, Mr Claus, and would recommend Kern and him at any time and without reservation.

M.B., entrepreneur from Lower Saxony , Owner of a property development company

After a lengthy selection process we decided on KERN

By its very nature, there are not multiple opportunities when selling a business. That is why choosing the right management consultant is so important. After a lengthy selection process, we decided on KERN and Holger Habermann. With great personal commitment, Mr. Habermann has successfully mastered all tasks, both in terms of content and management. I would particularly like to emphasise the wide-ranging expertise, the methodical approach, the objective, calm manner and the straightforwardness in the discussion.

H.K., entrepreneur from Bavaria , Owner of an information technology company

... We have achieved our goal and can definitely recommend working with KERN.

The KERN team was recommended to me as part of our company sale and, in retrospect, we are very glad to have received this tip. The negotiation process for the sale was complex, lengthy and sometimes threatened by emotional misunderstandings in the outcome. However, thanks to the great experience and skill of our KERN consultant, we achieved our goal and can definitely recommend working with KERN.

J.F. , Entrepreneur in the Osnabrück area , Trade and technical services

Especially the seriousness and professionalism gave me a secure feeling at all times

My pre-selection decision to 100% proved to be the right one. KERN did a really good job from the preparation of my company in an exposé, to the search for buyers, to the facilitation of negotiations and the complete implementation of my succession. In particular, the seriousness and professionalism gave me a secure feeling at all times. Our goal was successfully achieved in a good 8 months. I am happy to recommend KERN to others.

G.O.K., entrepreneur from Hamburg , Service provider with own branch locations

Without the view from outside, we would probably never have reached our goal so quickly and safely

In the context of my company succession, the merger with a competitor company was the ideal solution. The KERN team, and especially Mr. Koerber, accompanied us sensitively as a moderator and process facilitator and combined the interests of both negotiating partners well. Without the view from outside and the negotiating experience, we would probably never have reached our goal so quickly and safely!

J.K. Entrepreneur from Berlin , Trade and services

Known from numerous publications

Frequently asked questions about buying a company

NEW: What is the best way to introduce yourself to a company salesperson?

Use the CORE template for your investor profile. It takes into account the essential information ? from the short profile to your investment presentation.

What are the advantages of buying a company compared to founding one?

Buying a healthy company with prospects provides a stable foundation and income from day one. This is the elementary difference to a foundation and a start-up.

Established processes, customer and supplier relationships, turnover, earnings, the know-how of employees and much more facilitate the start of entrepreneurial independence.

See also the interview with the buyer of a company:

How and where do you find a company for sale?

One of the quickest ways is through the relevant company exchanges such as. , or also

Here, company buyers can find a broad cross-section of current company offers and make direct contact themselves.

We cover these questions in detail in one of our online webinars on business acquisition. Secure your free place here right now:

In this webinar, you will also gain access to an important checklist tool that can provide concrete help in comparing and weighing different purchase options.

How do I find a company to buy outside of stock exchanges?

This is the famous needle in a haystack and usually requires special knowledge and access to databases.

After all, no entrepreneur hangs a 'For Sale' sign in front of his company door, similar to real estate.

We have worked out several options for the purchase of companies and their successful identification. You can find these different options under

How much own financial resources does a company purchase require?

Of course, this depends on the potential company itself and on the seller's ideas.

Depending on the business model, industry and financial framework data, you will need about 10 ? 30% own funds for a company purchase.

These own funds can take very different forms. In addition, there is a wealth of public funding opportunities that support financing.

Specific information on current funding opportunities can be found at

Is there a calculation method for the purchase price of a company?

Every purchase price is always subjective to a certain extent. There are no objective methods. Nevertheless, there are methods for determining an objectified enterprise value.

There are currently two relevant valuation methods for an objectified business value for family businesses:

The capitalised earnings value method (IDWS1) and the AWH method (particularly suitable for craft enterprises).

With these recognised methods, the value of a company can be calculated and thus also serves as an indication or basis for a possible purchase price estimate.

At KERN, we do such valuations for family businesses almost every day. Or we analyse the business valuations of a seller's side for buyers.

The multiplier method also helps for a quick value assessment and initial, rough valuation. In this method, market-relevant sales prices from other company sales are used as so-called reference values. These multipliers are then multiplied by the earnings (EBIT) before taxes of a company.

These objectified valuation methods provide an indication of a subjective company value, which depends on other influencing variables.

At you can carry out an initial value assessment online free of charge within 5 minutes. Use our company value calculator to your advantage and use it to check the possible price range of the company you are auditing.

How long does it take on average for me to buy a company?

The time required always depends on the measures taken for a targeted property search. If you want to leave it to chance, enter yourself in one or the other exchange or ask here and there, it can take years. Maybe even many years.

However, if you take concrete steps, we know from our experience that in about 8 to 14 months a concrete purchase with all details can be completed.

You can find initial ideas for starting your search at

How does the buying process of a company work?

Of course, there are recommendations for the structure and procedure in a purchase process for a company acquisition. At the same time, it does not only depend on the buyer side, but the seller side can also design the different steps dynamically and goal-oriented and also not.

The typical procedure for a structured purchase process of a company can be found under

What is a letter of intent (LOI) and why do I need it?

This English term is representative of the letter of intent that buyers and sellers should agree upon at an early stage of getting to know each other.

This avoids misunderstandings in an intended company sale and usually separates the wheat from the chaff. Although the so-called LoI (Letter of Intent) is not legally binding, it obliges the buyer and seller to formulate important contents and parameters for a possible succession arrangement in a forthcoming transaction and thus to agree on a common clarity regarding the goals of the following discussions in the sale or acquisition of the company.

More details in our detailed article on the topic Letter of Intent.

We recommend always agreeing on an LoI in every process, whether from the buyer's or the seller's point of view. It creates clarity and commitment for both sides and thus helps to reach the goal more quickly.

What is due diligence? What is it necessary for?

So let him who commits himself for ever be tested. This applies not only in a private context, but also in the decision-making process for a company acquisition.

This term describes the buyer's examination phase in the sale of a company.

You can find initial details on this page on the subject of Due diligence. We also have a wide-ranging Due Diligence Checklist prepared for free download for corporate buyers.


What options are there for increasing one's own equity base?

In any case, there are several possibilities. You can make agreements with the seller that help to make the equity more resilient and to know that the seller is firmly on your side, at least for a period of time.

In such a construct, the seller also has a fundamental interest that you, as the buyer, successfully implement the company succession through the company purchase in the following years.

And there are outside third parties, such as banks, savings banks or financial investors, who can offer all opportunities in a range from public funds to concrete investments and significantly increase the equity base.

At the same time, every buyer must be clear in advance about what his or her needs really are and then also sound out the various options for this at an early stage.

Do I need a business plan to acquire a business?

We would recommend a business plan to every buyer of a company. It serves as a first step towards clarity and perspective for the intended investment project.

It is also the standard for potential financial partners to accompany the company acquisition.

Without a detailed business plan, which describes in detail all risks and opportunities, the project for a company acquisition should not be carried out.

How long does it take to secure financing for the acquisition of a company?

Depending on the effort and support provided by traditional house banks/savings banks, public development banks or private financial investors, a minimum of 8 weeks must be estimated for the period.

This is then really quick and all the documents are perfectly laid out.

In the case of extensive projects, the combination of different donors or the overlap with the typical holiday periods, you will quickly need 3 or 4 months for this important phase.


What does it cost to be accompanied by a professional M&A advisor? Is it worth it?

The costs for a possible accompaniment by experts are very different. Are there fixed cost rates, are there profit-sharing schemes or?or?

Assume, in relation to the purchase price amount of a company, approximately 3 to 8% of the transaction amount. Understandably, this also depends on the effort of the entire M&A process and your personal accompaniment needs.

The great advantage is that an experienced M&A consulting can guide you safely and quickly through a purchase process and find completely different arguments and approaches for a price reduction during the possible price negotiations than you could possibly manage yourself.

Then the commissioning was definitely worthwhile.