Can I sell my company even if I have not made any profit the last couple of years?
The answer I give is a whole-hearted, "Yes!"
You can always sell your company. The correct question though is: Will you receive a value sufficient to satisfy your personal objectives?
Many of my clients have become used to withdrawing capital from the company and once profits erode, become nervous and think that they need to sell before profits decline further. This is where valuation and sale of your business by a professional EMD or corporate finance expert will make a significant difference.
Although your historical EBITDA certainly is a factor, the value will depend largely on what EBITDA you can prove for the future. If, for example, you have landed large new contracts, you likely will be able to get value for most of the EBITDA that those contracts will generate over the years to come.
I suppose the tougher question here is: Why are you selling your company now? If you have no choice, then you should prepare the best you can, potentially hire a broker or Exempt Market Dealer to help you tell the story, and get the best value possible.
If you don’t have to sell now and you think the future looks better, you likely will get more value if you wait. Taking on 30% sale to Private Equity would be your best option. They will fill up the tank again, revitalize your strategy and get you looking at what options you have - most often, hiring a CEO and encouraging you to do the work you love to do.
Jacoline began her career with Granduc Mines, Northern BC, and then Deloitte in their strategy unit. She developed a strategic planning model and published it in a book called "The Power of Strategy”. She also wrote "Business e-Volution" and “Money Magnet: How to Attract Investors to Your Business” (Wiley), which has been used by Ivey as a text book.
She is a Director on the Board of the Exempt Market Dealers Association (EMDA) responsible for brand and communications. She is on the advisory board of DCL International, Bilingo China and Flint Business Acceleration. She has been a Director for other Boards such as the Strategic Leadership Forum.
She is a regular panellist on BNN: The Pitch, a contributor to the Globe & Mail and National Post, serves as a judge for the UBC and the Richard Ivey School of Business’ Business Plan Competitions and is a guest lecturer at Ivey and Rotman Universities. Jacoline holds an arts degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University and a MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her MBA thesis was selected by Cambridge University and published by Cambridge’s Engineering faculty.