How We Sell Your Winery
The above video outlines our five-phase process for selling a winery. We’ve learned from both our failures and our successes to fine-tune this process, and can now close almost all of our engagements.
Below is an outline of the process described in the video.
Phase I: Our Initial Meeting with You
When you take time to prepare your winery for sale, you’re far more likely to sell it in less time, for a reasonable amount, and with improved terms.
This is not a sales meeting where we try to convince you to go with us. Instead, we discuss your winery, your history, and the qualities that make your winery and winery unique. You’ll learn about us, how we work, and what we’ll do to help you transition to your next adventure. We’ll have a relaxed meeting, with absolutely no obligation to continue.
However, if you’re ready to move forward, then we’ll move to Phase II.
If you’re ready to continue moving forward, we’ll kick into Phase II.
Phase II: Research, Plan & Build Value
This is where we conduct some intensive analysis, both of your financials and how your winery stacks up in today’s market. One of the keys to this phase is that you’ll come away with a list of specific ways in which you can quickly build value into your winery.
We’ll give you an honest assessment of the value of your winery, and we’ll identify the type of buyers we should target, as well as the kind of deal structures you can expect. We don’t produce a huge, mostly useless document in this phase. Instead, we focus on giving honest answers that will help you decide on how you want to proceed, whether it’s to sell now or wait five years.
We’ll give you all the information you need to make your decision on your own time. The end result is a shortened sales cycle.
It’s only at this point do you actually sign a formal agreement.
Phase III: Marketing
Phase III involves 6 distinct stages:
- Sign the Agreement. This agreement establishes the framework and enables us to start the marketing and sales efforts.
- Deal Book & Buyer Vetting. We simultaneously create your Deal Book and build a list of pre-screened and vetted potential buyers from our own database and others you or we might know.
- Active Marketing. We contact everyone on our vetted list with a blind summary so that we can maintain confidentiality and narrow the list to only those who are ready to buy.
- Refine the Buyer List. Next, we pick the short list of buyers who are ready to move forward. We’ll typically receive inquiries within days of our initial marketing, and we want to refine the list to include only those buyers who are best suited to see the acquisition through to the end. All sign a non-disclosure agreement at this point.
- Buyer/Seller Meetings. We’ll arrange for you and potential buyers to meet. They’ll understand your winery better, and both of you can ask pointed questions to determine the fit.
- Auction, Select Buyer, Agree to Terms. We use an auction or RFP-like process. This allows us to get all buyers to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) at the same time, and within a specific time period. We’ll usually get multiple offers at the same time.
When you and the buyer have agreed to the terms, we move into phase four of our overall process – the due diligence phase.
Kris did all the work. I just gave him the information he needed to put the Deal Book together, and he gave me the space to keep running the business. ~ Lou Marsella
Phase IV: Due Diligence
The reason that closing times for M&A transactions have increased exponentially is the length of time it takes to go through proper due diligence. The buyer will do financial audits, environmental audits, and even IT audits. They’ll look from top to bottom, and their attorney will be especially critical of any potential issues.
Phase V: – Final Negotiations, Deal Structuring, Paperwork
Concurrent with the due diligence activities is when we also enter the last phase – final negotiations. Here is where we draft additional agreements, exhibits, schedules, consulting agreements, leases, assignments, and third party consents. Phases four and five culminate with the final agreement and closing of the transaction.
Then once the funds have been wired to your account is when the celebration begins. Selling a winery can be a rewarding experience.
Hopefully you now have a clearer picture of the process you’ll experience in selling your winery- from your initial meeting with us to the celebration of seeing the funds wired to your account. Contact us about any California wineries for sale or wineries for sale in California.