Your perso­nal roadmap to selling your business

  • We focus exclu­si­ve­ly on assis­ting medium-sized compa­nies in all aspects of corpo­ra­te succession.
  • With our know-how, we decisi­ve­ly increase the proba­bi­li­ty of success in corpo­ra­te transac­tions. In our circle of partners we have a profes­sio­nal team of over 25 specia­lists with their own, opera­tio­nal and entre­pre­neu­ri­al experience.
  • We manage over 6,000 ongoing contacts with prospec­ti­ve buyers in our own databa­se of invest­ment compa­nies, finan­cial inves­tors, VC compa­nies, venture and equity investors.
  • Natio­nal­ly and inter­na­tio­nal­ly, we are connec­ted to the most renow­ned networks for the purcha­se and sale of compa­nies. Behind this are a good 300,000 contacts to inves­tors - natio­nal­ly and internationally.
Seal Best Advisors for Business Succession
Seal Top Business Succession Consulting
Best Advisors - SZ Institute Award
  • A relay runner stands in his starting block and waits for the start signal

    In the DACH region, over 50% of family businesses in all three count­ries are now heading towards business succession

    (Source DIHK Study 2018, IFM-Bonn and KERN Succes­si­on Study 2017 + 2020).

    The pace of ageing of owners and share­hol­ders is incre­asing so rapidly,

    that a good 60% will alrea­dy be reached in 2022.

    The chall­enge: With the retire­ment of the baby boomers, there is a drama­tic slump in demogra­phic succes­si­on. There is not only a lack of employees at all levels, but also of founders and succes­sors as compa­ny leaders.

    And the econo­mic clima­te is becoming harsher and tends to be more unplea­sant. Gradu­al­ly, but visibly.

    Secure your assets, safeguard your employees’ jobs and start your succes­si­on project!

    If not now, when?

    The right time
  • Screenshot of the KERN Best Consultant and Top Consultant 2019 awards

    Your compa­ny sale requi­res the highest level of profes­sio­na­lism and discre­ti­on at the same time. Trust the State­ments from our custo­mers or have a look at one of our Natio­nal coope­ra­ti­on an. Upon request, we will be happy to name speci­fic contact persons who can give you a perso­nal state­ment on our perfor­mance. Check our values for cooperation.

    Referen­ces for your safety
  • Zoom view of a staff member while working on the laptop

    You explain your compa­ny and its histo­ry to us and tell us the basis of your business concept and the goals of your succes­si­on planning.

    The start of our cooperation
  • The decision-maker seminar for personal preparation of a company succession

    To the extent known, provi­de us with the insider infor­ma­ti­on about the indus­try and the market neces­sa­ry for marketing.

  • A man in a suit looks through binoculars

    We get a pictu­re of the indus­try, the condi­ti­ons in the market as well as the future market develo­p­ment in connec­tion with the possi­ble buyer target groups.

  • Mindmap on strategy with planning, competence, foresight, goals, finances, etc.

    We review your documents and discuss with you the next steps of a holistic sales strategy (stumb­ling blocks for a sale, measu­res for prepa­ra­ti­on, indivi­du­al search proce­du­re or bidding proce­du­re, data prepa­ra­ti­on for a later buyer’s exami­na­ti­on, defini­ti­on of the scope of the sale, etc.) What should be sold, what should not be sold?

  • An elderly lady and an elderly gentleman keep fit doing cardio

    Optio­nal­ly, we start with a joint fitness check on the salea­bi­li­ty or trans­fera­bi­li­ty of your business (separa­te offer if necessary).
    With over 300 questi­ons, you will recei­ve an in-depth analy­sis of your ACTUAL situa­ti­on and we will review the status quo with you in the areas of planning and prepa­ra­ti­on, provi­si­on and asset situa­ti­on, succes­si­on options, and law,
    Taxes and business administration.

    Exten­ded you will recei­ve an assess­ment from us
    to the value of your compa­ny and to the possi­ble market price.

    A proto­col gives you the basis for assessing
    of your compa­ny fitness in matters of business succession.
    If you wish, you can also recei­ve concre­te recom­men­da­ti­ons for possi­ble actions.

  • In this step follows for you the detail­ed assess­ment of your company.

    As a rule, we work accor­ding to the capita­li­sed earnings value method in the classi­fi­ca­ti­on accor­ding to the IDWS1 (Insti­tut der Deutschen Wirtschafts­prü­fer) method.


    The basis is the annual finan­cial state­ments of the last 3 business years. These are adjus­ted for extra­or­di­na­ry expen­ses or income. Likewi­se, a reali­stic assess­ment of costs, wages and salaries or tax optimi­sa­ti­on is carri­ed out.

    In the case of several compa­nies, it is advisa­ble to conso­li­da­te the figures (separa­te service) for the sake of compact clarity.


    On this basis, planning figures for the future, econo­mic develo­p­ment of at least 3 to 5 years are prepared. If you wish, we can support you in this important task of deter­mi­ning value.

    The assump­ti­ons of the target figures should be justi­fia­ble and take into account the upcoming succession.


    In this process, you recei­ve a draft in advan­ce, which we then discuss and appro­ve with you for a final versi­on. Of course, we work close­ly with your tax advisor in this important analy­sis and deter­mi­na­ti­on of the compa­ny value.


    The deter­mi­na­ti­on of a company’s value is not only an important basis for decis­i­on-making for buyers, but is also actual­ly almost indis­pensable for banks and finan­cing partners in the context of a transaction.

    Your company’s perfor­mance will thus be compre­hen­si­ble and the perspec­ti­ve of the target figures will justi­fy the important future of an acquirer.


    For smaller compa­nies (size of less than 1 milli­on euros/CHF transac­tion value), the Business valua­ti­on may also be omitted or imple­men­ted in another standard.

    Alter­na­tively, the conden­sed key figures of the past are shown in a short form. Supple­men­ted by the planned figures mentio­ned above.
    However, not on the basis of the recog­nis­ed income capita­li­sa­ti­on approach accor­ding to IDWS1.


    For certain business models there is also the Substance value method or AWH method.

    You will recei­ve the final versi­on in two print versi­ons (bound) and as a digital file in PDF format.

    Valua­ti­on and pricing options
  • Businessman drawing a mind map with a white pen in front of a plexiglass screen

    We prepa­re your data in a discussa­ble outline, form and struc­tu­re (prepa­ra­ti­on analog­ous to the content of your company’s future exposé ? KERN support checklist).

    Sales documents and distribution
  • Strongly smiling man raising his hand in the Italian gesture for bene

    We work with you to develop arguments for the further sales strategy and joint­ly check the sustaina­bi­li­ty of the arguments.

  • Businessmen at a table hold puzzle pieces of white paper to each other

    We discuss variants of effec­ti­ve sales strate­gies and deter­mi­ne the strate­gies that ultim­ate­ly appear promi­sing together with you (indivi­du­al search proce­du­re or bidding proce­du­re). At this point, important questi­ons of tax and legal impli­ca­ti­ons are also weighed up in indivi­du­al cases.

  • Exposé cover sheet of Time Work GmbH with photo of an industrial landscape

    We prepa­re a detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on memoran­dum (exposé), if neces­sa­ry also in foreign languages of your choice or neces­si­ty of the target group (at cost). Your detail­ed compa­ny evalua­ti­on is integra­ted into this. Depen­ding on the market situa­ti­on (absolu­te certain­ty about the compe­ti­ti­on), we work with an upstream, neutral exposé as a “safety buffer”. This way, no compe­ti­tor on the market can recog­ni­se that you are on the way to securing succes­si­on with your company.

  • View of a few feet standing at a crossroads

    We discuss a ‘deal design’ with variants for you and poten­ti­al buyers.

    What can diffe­rent scena­ri­os look like for diffe­rent buyers? What is the legal and tax signi­fi­can­ce and impact?

  • Graphic of 7 black males with one orange male in the middle

    We define the prima­ry and secon­da­ry buyer groups and, if neces­sa­ry, draw up a list of all poten­ti­al interes­ted parties.

  • Red stamp imprint with the inscription "Confidential

    We compi­le an anony­mi­sed and comple­te­ly neutral short profi­le of your compa­ny (key data and outstan­ding plus points) to anony­mously clari­fy the basic interest of the addressees.

  • A hand ticks off items on a list with checkmarks

    All documents are checked and expli­cit­ly released by you. This way you know exact­ly what others can find out about your compa­ny and always remain the decis­i­on-maker of the process at this point.

    In paral­lel, we alrea­dy inform you about possi­ble audit proce­du­res of a trans­fe­ree and prepa­re you with detail­ed check­lists for a profes­sio­nal data presentation.

  • A needle with a blue head stuck in a haystack

    We contact the poten­ti­al buyers in writing and, if neces­sa­ry, by telepho­ne and provi­de initi­al anony­mous data. Exten­ded by indivi­du­al or telepho­ne interviews.

    Short video on the search for buyers

    The needle in the haystack
  • Man holding up a pack of eggs with a question mark on the left and a magnifying glass on the right

    We inten­si­fy our contacts with partners, banks and several thousand suita­ble MBI candi­da­tes as well as equity invest­ment compa­nies. You always recei­ve the CVs or further compa­ny details of inves­tors before a possi­ble hando­ver of the detail­ed exposé. Only with your approval do we deepen the exchan­ge of infor­ma­ti­on. With this securi­ty rule, no data of your compa­ny can uninten­tio­nal­ly get into the hands of third parties.

  • A keyboard with a bright red key and the inscription "Datenschutz" (data protection)

    Upon confir­ma­ti­on of interest, we will arran­ge for the neces­sa­ry non-disclo­sure agree­ment and trans­mit further compa­ny data.

  • A man holds a sheet of paper with a question mark on it in front of his face

    On request, we will anony­mously list your compa­ny on the largest and most relia­ble compa­ny exchan­ges in Germa­ny and Europe.

    We have selec­tively recor­ded over 210,000 concre­te prospec­ti­ve buyers in our direct network alone. In the natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal environ­ment, buyers are constant­ly looking for invest­ment opportunities.

  • Close-up of an ear of wheat against a blue sky

    We select and quali­fy interes­ted parties for contract negotia­ti­ons. Each interes­ted party is checked for sustained interest within a set time frame. In the process, we also pay parti­cu­lar atten­ti­on to the serious­ness of the poten­ti­al acqui­rers. We separa­te the wheat from the chaff for you.

  • A counsellor shakes a client's hand and smiles as he does so

    We arran­ge appoint­ments with the relevant interes­ted parties, coordi­na­te the compa­ny presen­ta­ti­on and, if neces­sa­ry, the submis­si­on of offers by the interes­ted parties, which we subse­quent­ly compa­re and, if neces­sa­ry, concre­ti­se within the frame­work of a competition.

    The negotia­ti­ons
  • Follow-up day

    We coordi­na­te and modera­te the joint talks, ensure the neces­sa­ry flow of infor­ma­ti­on and the documen­ta­ti­on of the negotia­ti­on steps. This work often resem­bles that of an atten­ti­ve “inter­pre­ter”. Verbal­ly expres­sed expec­ta­ti­ons, agree­ments and wishes can quick­ly become a “dealb­rea­k­er” if they are not precis­e­ly trans­la­ted, checked and documen­ted in writing at an early stage.

  • Man stands in front of a white concrete labyrinth and grabs his head in wonderment

    We accom­pa­ny the decis­i­on-making process on both sides by discus­sing the possi­ble ‘deal design’ and asses­sing it from a commer­cial, legal and tax perspec­ti­ve (invol­ving selec­ted experts from our network or your desired specialists).

  • Advisor with a client at the signing of the contract

    We struc­tu­re the questi­ons from interes­ted parties and coordi­na­te the answers with you in detail.

  • An apple with a rotten spot next to a fresh apple

    We compa­re the interes­ted parties/offers and advise and accom­pa­ny you in the negotia­ti­on tactics.

  • "Our expert service" lettering in white and yellow on a green background

    We accom­pa­ny the further process up to the conclu­si­on of the purcha­se agree­ment with the invol­vement of legal and tax experts with M&A experi­ence. Of course, you are free to choose them and instruct the lawyer/tax advisor or auditor of your choice direct­ly. From our tested network or your perso­nal environment.

    Preli­mi­na­ry contract, inspec­tion and purcha­se contract
  • Chessboard with chess pieces in which a black piece captures the queen.

    We draw up a letter of intent or a preli­mi­na­ry contract with these experts.

  • Picture of a blue file order with the inscription "Due Diligence".

    We accom­pa­ny the due diligence reviews (review of all documents by the buyer) and modera­te the final negotiations.

    The effort invol­ved in such a purcha­se review should not be undere­sti­ma­ted, as even at this stage of the sales process, work is usual­ly carri­ed out in strict confi­dence and under­co­ver. That is why we prepa­re you for the upcoming questi­ons and exami­na­ti­on proces­ses at a very early stage. And when an inves­tor brings out the “big silver­wa­re” for this stage of the process, you should certain­ly be able to handle it profes­sio­nal­ly on your side with us.

  • A notary's deed on white-yellow paper with stamp and fountain pen lying on it

    We prepa­re a draft of the purcha­se contract with the afore­men­tio­ned experts and support you until the legal­ly binding signa­tures are provided.

  • One hundred and five hundred euro notes with coins on a table

    If you wish, we will accom­pa­ny you during the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the payment and handover.

  • 3 day sailing trip

    We are also available to advise on questi­ons after the hando­ver. These can be, for examp­le, integra­ti­on proces­ses into a new struc­tu­re. The updating of a compa­ny missi­on state­ment or team develo­p­ment in the context of the hando­ver. Whate­ver your needs as a trans­fer­or might be - ask us - we have a natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal network with experi­en­ced experts in all disci­pli­nes of a compa­ny succession.

  • You have successful­ly achie­ved your goal ? Your succes­si­on for your company(ies) is secured. You have trans­fer­red an important value compo­nent of your assets into your future. You have succee­ded in one of the greatest tasks and challenges in entre­pre­neu­ri­al life!


Why now?Enthu­si­a­stic custo­mersThe analy­sisInsider knowledgeMarket reviewSales strategyFitness checkValue and pricewhet the appeti­teConvin­ceTactics and toolsThe eye eats with youClari­tyWho, where and howSecuri­ty & Discre­ti­onYou decide. Always.Inter­na­tio­nal and/or natio­nalTapping targe­ted sourcesObliga­ti­on of confi­den­tia­li­tyExperi­ence and disse­mi­na­ti­onCriti­cal selec­tionIn the middle of the raceOrgani­sa­ti­on, modera­ti­on, documen­ta­ti­onExper­ti­se Profes­sio­nal process struc­turesSelec­tion crite­riaGood contracts = good tolera­teMade to measu­reSo let him who commits himself for everFinalThe good in the endAfter­ca­re is prevention

Parti­ci­pa­te now free of charge in the webinar “Selling a business without risk and loss of value”.

In this special webinar, you will learn in just over 80 minutes how to find the right buyer for your compa­ny safely, discreet­ly and at the best price.