Company sale - KERN

On the way to your new and carefree life with the sale of your company

Company sale
Company sale

We support entrepreneurs who want to avoid expensive mistakes when selling their life's work with the tried-and-tested KERN process, from the targeted search for a buyer to the secure conclusion of the contract on the way to their new and financially carefree life. This is how the company sale (M&A) becomes your greatest success.

The tried and tested KERN process for the sale of a company (M&A)

Fitness Check

Fitness check to test the saleability and determine the value of the company according to recognised procedures as well as determination of the sales strategy (e.g. bidding procedure).

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Preparation of a sales-effective exposé and an anonymous short profile to address prospective buyers. Because the first impression is decisive.

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Buyer search

Identification, coordination and approach of potential buyers as well as targeted search in the best company exchanges.

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Bid evaluation

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

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Due Diligence

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

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Post Merger Integration

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

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Company sale

How to make a success of selling a business. The expert guide for family businesses.

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

Projects from the area 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 do I find a buyer or investor and successor for my company?

We recommend preparing two types of documents in advance:

1) A kind of 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 company memorandum should show strengths and weaknesses and at the same time whet the appetite of the reader, i.e. investor and potential company buyer. The corporate 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 online exchanges, such as e.g. or and also the offer a good option for a neutral search for the right buyer. Further information on company exchanges at

Banks and savings banks, but also chambers (e.g. in Austria the Chamber of Commerce with its own successor exchange, lawyers and tax advisors can be a contact for your company sale.

At KERN, for example, we have more than 110,000 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 determine my company value?

There are currently two authoritative methods for determining the value of small and medium-sized enterprises.

This is the IDWS1 capitalised earnings value method and the AWH method, which is widely used in the skilled trades. In Austria, for example, there is the valuation report according to the expert opinion of the Chamber of Public Accountants KFS/BW1.

At KERN, we specialise in the capitalised earnings value method according to IDWS1 as well as KFS/BW1 and have already prepared hundreds of appraisals for family businesses for company value.

We also offer you a company value calculator online from the wealth of our transactions. Here you can get a free and uncomplicated initial assessment of your company's value.

The values are based on the so-called multiplier method, which 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 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.

The standard value 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 a reputable advisor for my company sale?

The special project of a company succession requires a high level of professionalism and a lot of 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 through references for a company sale. So ask 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 an advisor at

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

There are a number of parameters that can drive up the best price for a business sale.

The first factor is time and thus especially the strategic preparation for 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 company purchase agreement is individual and we would only ever be able to present excerpts from the views of buyers or sellers.

At you will find further advice on the subject of the contract for the sale of a business.

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 taxes are due on the sale of a company?

This is so individual and different that it is not possible here to give a detailed account of the tax burden in the event of a company sale.

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

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 initial details on due diligence at

Detailed information on this important stage in a company sale and due diligence can be found at

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.

For more details see

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.