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How to sell a business to an overseas buyer

See all articlesbusiness owners looking to sell their business overseas
Selling a business
Lucas Couper
Lucas Couper
Managing Director
October 9, 2018
minute read

Realise the potential of selling to international business buyers

Including international buyers into the current pool of potential buyers of your business is always an important part of any sale process. If you're serious about selling your business to an overseas buyer, it's wise to get professional advice.

A dedicated business adviser can give you valuable advice on how to handle and work with overseas buyers. At Nash Advisory, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to finding international business buyers. Approximately 20 per cent of all potential buyers are from outside Australia.

You may have heard sensationalised accounts of Australian businesses selling overseas for millions more than they're worth. It's important to get the full story. In some cases, these businesses are already turning over hundreds of millions of dollars. Other times it's just a case of the business being exposed to a larger pool of potential buyers.

Overseas transactions can be complex. However, we've found an average 10-15 per cent premium is paid by international business buyers, so there's a clear advantage to selling your business to an overseas buyer.

The benefits of looking overseas

Being open to an international market can do wonders for the sale of your business. Opening your doors to an international audience can increase the pool of potential buyers for your business. With international business buyers interested, you increase the possibility of increased bidder attention and multiple transaction structures.

When a potential buyer expresses their interest in your business, look at the broader picture. The purchase of your business may be part of a much larger global acquisition strategy. Your business may be a key part of a strategy as a platform to grow their global operations throughout Australasia.

Once you understand why there's interest in your business, you can determine what to leverage during sale negotiations. An overseas buyer may be willing to offer a premium for your business, as it may provide an additional opportunity for them to continue to grow into the market.

Investing in the services of a business advisory team is one way to ensure any potential offer is researched thoroughly. With a team of business experts doing all the research, you may discover new developments that influence your choice of buyer.

The challenges of selling to international business buyers

woman and man smiling at each other during company meeting

With healthy competition, your business's potential sale price can increase. However, with international opportunities also comes new challenges. Language barriers can add confusion to your overseas negotiations. Different time zones can also make it challenging to communicate with potential overseas buyers.

Different countries have their own laws around business acquisitions, trading, and taxes. That's why it's so important to educate international business buyers on any laws unique to the Australian market. Valuable time and resources can be wasted if a potential buyer backs out of a sale as a result of overlooking one crucial detail. This where an experienced adviser who has cross-border experience becomes essential.

How do I start looking for overseas buyers?

Any business can conduct their own research into potential international business buyers. Think about the time and resources needed for this research. Wouldn't your time be better spent on preparing your business for sale, ensuring it runs smoothly, and having a professional adviser assist with this research?

Your own company's research may yield a large pool of highly interested overseas buyers. However, even the most serious buyer can rescind their offer if you're not careful.

However, there is no guarantee that these potential buyers will result in bona fide leads.

An established firm like Nash Advisory can help find potential overseas buyers on your behalf, contact and do an initial pre-screening to minimise any time you may need to waste with disingenuous buyers.

Our business advisory service offers the advantage of experience and resources, including a database of industry contacts, to help you find international parties interested in buying your business.

How Nash Advisory can help

two people shaking hands whilst sitting at a desk

The team at Nash Advisory have guided a number of businesses through the process of selling to international buyers. After a thorough review of your business and the market, we'll provide you with a detailed valuation report.

We've seen the most successful overseas sales come from industrial and product-based companies. We've found overseas buyers tend to look for businesses similar to their own. For example, a European buyer who owns a software company may want to invest in an Australian software company as well.

The international market can open your business to a whole new world of potential buyers. With the right contacts and resources, Nash Advisory can find quality buyers for your business. We pride ourselves on connecting Australian businesses with overseas investors that have a genuine interest in purchasing.

So get in touch with an adviser from Nash Advisory today and unlock the potential of the overseas market.

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