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Company sale: On the way to your new and carefree life with KERN

Company sale
Company sale
Business Succession Recommendations Provenexpert

Company sales consulting at over 20 locations in D-A-CH

Over 1,000 business succession consultations since 2004

3 books published on the topic of M&A

The sale of a company in 10 steps [Video]

Do you want to avoid costly mistakes when selling your business? KERN supports you with a practice-proven M&A process from the targeted search for a buyer to the secure conclusion of the contract on the way to your new and financially carefree life. This is how the company sale (M&A) becomes your greatest success.

Company sale consulting: The tried and tested M&A process from KERN

1. fitness check incl. company sale checklist

Fitness check with Company sale checklist for the examination of saleability and company valuation according to recognised procedures as well as determination of the sales strategy (e.g. bidding procedure).

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2. preparation of company sale exposé

Creation of a sales-effective Company sale exposés (Information Memorandum) and an anonymous short profile to address prospective buyers. Because the first impression is decisive.

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3. the search for the right corporate buyer

Identifying, coordinating and approaching potential buyers as well as the targeted search in the best Company sale exchanges.

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4. examination of company sale offers

Examination of suitable offers and negotiations with the best possible interested parties until the conclusion of a preliminary agreement (LOI)

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5. conducting a due diligence review (due diligence)

Due diligence by the buyer, negotiation and conclusion of the transaction Company purchase agreement.

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6. the post-merger integration

The follow-up to the company takeover, such as integration of teams, synchronisation of mission statements, etc.

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How business succession becomes a success. The expert guide for family businesses.

Concentrated expertise and compact information incl. a company sale checklist. 20 M&A consultants from KERN have put together the most important information for your successful Company sale procedure summarised. NEW: Now including extensive Company sale checklist

References and testimonials from the field of company sales

The project included the preparation of the sale, company valuation, buyer search and approach as well as the organisation and moderation of the entire sales process up to the final drafting of the contract.

The M&A project, which received an award from Wirtschaftswoche, was successfully completed in less than 11 months.

The mechanical engineering company was successfully sold within 15 months. The project included the complete sales process.

The two founding partners have turned a start-up into a profitable and established company within a few years.

The medical technology company was successfully sold after only 5 months. The project included the complete organisation and moderation of the entire sales process.

The project included the valuation of the company, finding potential buyers, accompanying and moderating the negotiations and implementing the agreements in a legally compliant manner.

Known from numerous publications

Frequently asked questions about the sale of a company

How does the get-to-know-you appointment for a company sale consultation work?

Uncomplicated and as it suits you. Confidentiality and discretion are particularly important to us as the KERN Group. You decide where and when we meet for a personal meeting. Of course, this can also be done by video. The content of the meeting itself depends on your concerns. We specialise in all three topics and can therefore individually address your questions about the sale of a company, generation change or company acquisition.

How do I find a buyer or investor and successor for my company?

We recommend preparing two types of documents in advance:

1) One type neutral short description of the company for sale, which does not reveal the identity, but contains the business model and the most important key data and has the task of making possible target groups curious about this offer. More information on the so-called teaser at

2) A detailed exposé to prepare a report on the company that clearly shows the past, present and future of the company. Balance sheet figures for the last 3 years and target figures for further development.

 Likewise, the Corporate Memorandum strengths and weaknesses and at the same time whet the appetite of the reader, i.e. investor and potential company buyer. The company buyer should therefore want to learn more about your company. Further information under

Where can I find the right buyer or investor and successor for my company?

There are plenty of options for selling a business.

Company exchanges, such as or and also the offer a good option for a neutral search for the right buyer. Further information on company exchanges at

Extended can Banks and Savings Banksbut also Chambers (e.g. in Austria the Chamber of Commerce with its own succession exchange, lawyers and Tax consultant be a contact person for your business sale. Ask your tax advisor and lawyer specifically about their experience. One transaction per year does not necessarily mean that you can call on real in-depth experience.

Strategic acquisitions from the industry can also be a place to start. If, for example, you are looking for a Sell construction company construction groups could be considered as investors.

At KERN, for example, we have more than 210,000 screened investors in our data pool who are specifically looking for a takeover or investment.

And there is the possibility to test the current market value of your business completely anonymously and only decide later whether you really want to sell.

The details for the neutral and anonymous MARKET VALUE CHECK procedure developed by KERN can be found at

How can I calculate my enterprise value?

For small and medium-sized enterprises, there are currently two main procedures for Calculate enterprise value can.

This is the Income approach IDWS1 and widely used in the craft sector the AWH procedure. In Austria, for example, there is the valuation report according to the expert opinion of the Chamber of Chartered Accountants KFS/BW1.

At KERN, we specialise in the income capitalisation approach according to IDWS1 as well as KFS/BW1 and have already prepared hundreds of appraisals for business valuations.

From the wealth of our transactions online, we also offer you a Company value calculator on. Here you can get a free and uncomplicated initial assessment of your company's value.

The values are based on the so-called Multiplier methodwhich is calculated from countless transactions in the SME sector.

KERN is also, for example, one of the data suppliers for the renowned FINANCE-MAGAZIN, which is published at always publicly depicts the current values (although predominantly for larger companies).

Further information on the tool for determining the value of a company can be found at

How long does a company sale process take?


If the preparations for your business sale, such as the valuation, teaser and exposé preparation are done quickly, a complete transaction can be completed in 6 months be completed.

The standard value for a typical company sale process of our sales mandates is 1 to 1.5 years.

And there are also exceptions that can take 2 to 3 years and just need more time for the company sale due to specific features.

And sometimes the phase of "letting go" alone requires a certain amount of time and a longer lead time for the transferor. We recommend a stimulating book by KERN founder Nils Koerber:

Where can I find reputable M&A advice for my company sale?

The special project of a company succession requires a high professionalism and much experience in the complexity of a company sale.

As in other industries, in the M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) segment, experience and seriousness are among the most important characteristics for an optimal company sale.

And the best way to do that is via References for a company sale. Ask the M&A consulting so specifically for references and examples from previous transactions for a company sale. 

You will find a wealth of over 100 references at KERN, e.g. under

 You can find out more about finding a counsellor in our detailed blog article on the subject of Company sale consulting.

How can I get the best price when selling a business?

There are a number of parameters that determine the best price in the context of a Company sale valuation can drive up the price.

The first factor is time and thus especially the strategic preparation to a company sale.

Soft and hard factors together determine the optimal value of a company.

Details under

Or you can book now at Your place in a free online seminar: The 7 most expensive mistakes in business valuation.

Which company exchanges are safe and good?

There are only a few company exchanges that we would really like to recommend from our experience and conviction.

Just try This company exchange is free of charge and therefore has a very wide range of buyers and sellers (KERN is one of the few official service providers there with its own online access). However, not every advertiser always responds. Please be patient! Responses are voluntary and cannot be forced.

Or as a sales platform for companies with costs for an advertisement. However, this also filters the quality of buyers and sellers to a certain extent (KERN is also one of the selected premium partners of the first hour here).

By the way, buyers and investors for a company acquisition can register for the KERN data pool free of charge. Simply send an email to [email protected] send it to us. We will then send you a Gartis link to record your specific search profile.

At you will find all current KERN offers for a company sale and also company purchase. You can extend your knowledge about Secure the free subscription to our various newsletters and thus never miss an offer for a company sale or company purchase.

Read more about corporate stock exchanges at

Which books are recommended for a company sale?

At this point, we are simply being quite direct and are happy to refer to our own books on business succession by our KERN experts:

Further technical and non-fiction books by KERN experts will follow in 2021 and 2022.

What should be included in a contract for the sale of a business?

Every business purchase agreement is individual and differs, for example, if you have a Sell limited liability company or a sole proprietorship or whether it is an asset deal or share deal. Therefore, we would only ever be able to present the views of buyers or sellers in excerpts.

In our detailed blog article Contract for the sale of the company you will find further information on the topic.

In any case, do not take the subject of contracts lightly and we expressly warn against so-called standard contracts.

Many a person has unwittingly given away money and the value of his company out of false thriftiness for a professional company purchase contract.

Please also read

Where can I view experiences of a company sale?

For example, we have always posted interviews with clients on our KERN Youtube channel about their experiences in selling a business.

Examples are under or and

And you can find a wealth of references and quotes on the sale of companies at

What are the taxes on the sale of a company?

How high the taxes will be when selling a company is so individual and different that it is not possible here to give a detailed account of the tax burden when selling a company.

The formal level alone, whether e.g. asset or share deal, partnership or corporation creates different framework conditions for the taxes on the sale of a company.

Last but not least, there are country-specific topics to consider, whereby the KERN Group in the D-A-CH region in particular offers additional added value here.

Nevertheless, we have selected for you a condensed overview of the tax perspectives on the sale of a company on Wikipedia:

What is due diligence?

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

You can find detailed information on this important topic on our page on the subject of Due Diligence. We have also put together an extensive Due Diligence Checklist available for download.

What is a Letter of Intent (LoI)?

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 of the company.

More details on this in our extensive blog article on the topic Letter of Intent.

What does a company sale cost?

Understandably, this depends entirely on the scope of the desired accompaniment and support for an M&A transaction (company sale also has the abbreviation M&A for Mergers & Acquisitions).

Do you need a transaction advisor, a lawyer and a tax advisor?

Or only a partial service? Without professional support, there is a very high risk of errors and loss of value, or even the problem of legal disputes.

There are plenty of possible models for the cost of advice for a business sale, which are described in more detail under are to be found.

What is the difference between the terms business succession and business sale?

In the German-speaking world, the term "company succession" is the "headline" for the topic of succession. It is used to refer to the sale of a company, an internal Generation change and also a Company acquisition understood. It is important to clarify this in terms of content for language use in a joint exchange.