Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Business & entrepreneur  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 27.05.2022, 03:16
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Zug
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
OperationMindcrime has no particular reputation at present
Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

I've noticed a few threads here (some recent, some many years old) related to buying/selling companies - they've been helpful, to a degree. I've recently listed my AG on Flippa, with... mixed results. I'm the founder - and the online business is well established, has positive cash flow, 7 figure revenue (ok - just barely 7 figure in 2021 - but hey, it's a proud achievement for us), great margins, annual net profits/revenue growth of around 25% - it's all there (been in operation for a little over 20 years (in it's current Swiss form, 4 years)). I have a feeling though - we're too big for the average buyer/investor in most online forums I've seen, and yet - too small, for more Swiss brokerages who assist in selling companies.



Any suggests, tips, on great places to start (in addition to Flippa) would be most welcome.



Thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27.05.2022, 07:40
magic's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Versoix
Posts: 1,160
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 813 Times in 341 Posts
magic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond reputemagic has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

What is the business - tell us more?

You never know there might be someone with deep pockets on here who is looking for a ready made business
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27.05.2022, 08:47
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 5,242
Groaned at 308 Times in 233 Posts
Thanked 8,559 Times in 3,771 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

Selling a business and selling an AG or gmbh are two different things. People are interested in buying structures because the come with certified losses that can be used in tax planning. Nobody actually cares about the business!

A lot about selling a business comes down to credibility - your business sounds too good to be true - why would you want to sell such a well run business? It’s expensive to do due diligence on a business so you need to have something to attract peoples attention - certified figures, acceptable reasons to want to exit, etc.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Jim2007 for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 27.05.2022, 17:53
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 1,295
Groaned at 21 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 1,567 Times in 718 Posts
LuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

I've bought and sold several businesses over the years, and the amount of diligence needed seems to get longer every time! We just bought a small business recently, it was a turnaround situation and we plan to resell it next year. However we used our lawyer to handle the whole thing and in the end, due to the fact we could not get a "null osta" from the tax office, and the fact the seller could not quantify the debt, our lawyer advised to buy the assets, website, social media etc and put it into a new company - which is what we did.

There are people who are looking for well run businesses which are profitable, which yours seems to be. Why not try speaking to a relevant supplier or client, or maybe one of your competitors. The biggest thing will be valuing the business, so I'd suggest getting a reputable accountancy firm involved. You'll need audited accounts most likely so that would be a good move.

I'm also interested to know what type of business you're in?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29.05.2022, 03:19
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Zug
Posts: 7
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
OperationMindcrime has no particular reputation at present
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

Thank you for your insights.


Reason I wish to sell- simple: I need a break - maybe even start a family (if it's not too late). I feel that owning/running the business has taken a toll on me over the years. The issue, with being a founder - is that I have a deep emotional attachment to the business, our clients, and our staff. I micro-manage, and am involved with far too many aspects of the business. I know this isn't healthy, but I also don't know any other way. For that reason, I feel, it's best I step aside, sell the business to someone else, who will approach the operation with new ideas, a fresh approach to operations, and - most importantly- won't have the same attachment to it I will. They'll merely look at the numbers. For me - any customer complaint, is something I take too heart. A new owner, won't likely approach it that way.

Above all else - just having free time again, is why I wish to step aside. Time to live, to breathe, to disconnect. Hence, my wish for an exit (at the right price of course: the business is profitable, pays our salaries, has positive cash flow, etc).

It goes without saying - transparency in a deal is vital. Being a business owner/founder, I'd be able to sympathize with the requirements of another founder/entrepreneur: all our financials are open to audit (we were actually audited last year, and passed without any issues). We're an online business, effectively building bridges between desired markets and regions that are unable to (or have a hard time) purchasing goods from those markets. eCommerce, would be a very simplified take. In it's present state, the business isn't a simple/passive investment: it does require at least some degree of involvement by a new owner (to manage our developers who are constantly working on new systems to increase revenue, margins, systems that improve the customer experience, etc), to engage with our contractors abroad, etc. It goes without saying - I would stay on board for a few months to assist with the transition.

We target a global clientele, although specialize in two particular regions with currencies headed in opposing directions over the last few years, providing an additional tailwind in margins).

I'm aware, without providing specifics, I cannot garner much interest here, but this is by design (it's a public forum, and few things can hurt a business more, than rumors... just ask Jack at Twitter). In 2021, we took in just over 1.1 million CHF in revenue, with profits (before founder's salaries) of around 400k CHF). Over the years, this has continued to grow at approx. 25% or so annually. We're looking at a valuation of just over 2 million CHF. If some deem this too high - we're not concerned - we'll simply grow into that valuation over the coming months. This would be a selling price, at which I would be willing to let the business go, and move on. I'm not in a rush - this isn't a company that launched 2 years ago, capturing some passing fad or hype, and will be gone in a year. We've been at it for nearly 20 years in one form or another, and will be around many years from now.

I've found a few entities here in Switzerland that may be able to assist, and I will reach out to them this week. If someone reading this may be interested - you're welcome to PM me - although, please note that before I divulge any further details about the company, I would need some evidence of your ability to purchase an asset (business) at this price range. I've already been contacted by several people on another website that specializes in purchases/sales of online businesses, who's obvious intent was merely to fish for our IP (intellectual property/angle/business edge, etc).

@LuganoPirate: thank you for the suggestions. The issue with speaking to a competitor is that, we're much bigger than most of our competition. There are other potential draw-downs to approach competition, that I'd rather not note here in a public forum. Regarding accounting, we've had licensed (of course) Swiss accountants with us from day on - the paperwork, compliance, etc - won't be an issue. We've run the business to the highest standards, considering a large portion of our business operates in a distant country where quality standards on all fronts, are even higher than Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank OperationMindcrime for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 01.06.2022, 11:20
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lugano
Posts: 1,295
Groaned at 21 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 1,567 Times in 718 Posts
LuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond reputeLuganoPirate has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

Quote:
View Post
Thank you for your insights.

@LuganoPirate: thank you for the suggestions. The issue with speaking to a competitor is that, we're much bigger than most of our competition. There are other potential draw-downs to approach competition, that I'd rather not note here in a public forum. Regarding accounting, we've had licensed (of course) Swiss accountants with us from day on - the paperwork, compliance, etc - won't be an issue. We've run the business to the highest standards, considering a large portion of our business operates in a distant country where quality standards on all fronts, are even higher than Switzerland.
Thanks for the info. You seem to have a very interesting business. One other suggestion, have you considered a management buyout? No-one knows the business better (apart from you) are your managers / staff. You'll even find that banks are willing to finance this. 40% margins with a proven and growing track record, what's not to like for them?

I'd even suggest you're selling too cheaply. At a CHF 3m valuation the return for a buyer is 13% which is a very interesting return especially in today's environment.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01.06.2022, 17:07
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 594
Groaned at 7 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 237 Times in 152 Posts
naza is considered knowledgeablenaza is considered knowledgeablenaza is considered knowledgeable
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

Quote:
View Post
Thank you for your insights.


Reason I wish to sell- simple: I need a break - maybe even start a family (if it's not too late). I feel that owning/running the business has taken a toll on me over the years. The issue, with being a founder - is that I have a deep emotional attachment to the business, our clients, and our staff. I micro-manage, and am involved with far too many aspects of the business. I know this isn't healthy, but I also don't know any other way. For that reason, I feel, it's best I step aside, sell the business to someone else, who will approach the operation with new ideas, a fresh approach to operations, and - most importantly- won't have the same attachment to it I will. They'll merely look at the numbers. For me - any customer complaint, is something I take too heart. A new owner, won't likely approach it that way.

Above all else - just having free time again, is why I wish to step aside. Time to live, to breathe, to disconnect. Hence, my wish for an exit (at the right price of course: the business is profitable, pays our salaries, has positive cash flow, etc).

It goes without saying - transparency in a deal is vital. Being a business owner/founder, I'd be able to sympathize with the requirements of another founder/entrepreneur: all our financials are open to audit (we were actually audited last year, and passed without any issues). We're an online business, effectively building bridges between desired markets and regions that are unable to (or have a hard time) purchasing goods from those markets. eCommerce, would be a very simplified take. In it's present state, the business isn't a simple/passive investment: it does require at least some degree of involvement by a new owner (to manage our developers who are constantly working on new systems to increase revenue, margins, systems that improve the customer experience, etc), to engage with our contractors abroad, etc. It goes without saying - I would stay on board for a few months to assist with the transition.

We target a global clientele, although specialize in two particular regions with currencies headed in opposing directions over the last few years, providing an additional tailwind in margins).

I'm aware, without providing specifics, I cannot garner much interest here, but this is by design (it's a public forum, and few things can hurt a business more, than rumors... just ask Jack at Twitter). In 2021, we took in just over 1.1 million CHF in revenue, with profits (before founder's salaries) of around 400k CHF). Over the years, this has continued to grow at approx. 25% or so annually. We're looking at a valuation of just over 2 million CHF. If some deem this too high - we're not concerned - we'll simply grow into that valuation over the coming months. This would be a selling price, at which I would be willing to let the business go, and move on. I'm not in a rush - this isn't a company that launched 2 years ago, capturing some passing fad or hype, and will be gone in a year. We've been at it for nearly 20 years in one form or another, and will be around many years from now.

I've found a few entities here in Switzerland that may be able to assist, and I will reach out to them this week. If someone reading this may be interested - you're welcome to PM me - although, please note that before I divulge any further details about the company, I would need some evidence of your ability to purchase an asset (business) at this price range. I've already been contacted by several people on another website that specializes in purchases/sales of online businesses, who's obvious intent was merely to fish for our IP (intellectual property/angle/business edge, etc).

@LuganoPirate: thank you for the suggestions. The issue with speaking to a competitor is that, we're much bigger than most of our competition. There are other potential draw-downs to approach competition, that I'd rather not note here in a public forum. Regarding accounting, we've had licensed (of course) Swiss accountants with us from day on - the paperwork, compliance, etc - won't be an issue. We've run the business to the highest standards, considering a large portion of our business operates in a distant country where quality standards on all fronts, are even higher than Switzerland.
too small for PE firms and too big for a single investor... an MBO might be the best option I suppose. it sounds like you're looking for a 5x EBITDA which is attractive to an investor if the business is growing 25%/year.


out of curiosity are you able to share the business "industry". is it an online only? brick & mortar? B2B or DTC?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23.06.2022, 14:48
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: Genève
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 1 Post
MobileMo has no particular reputation at present
Re: Selling a Swiss AG - where to start?

I think that you need to be more patient with flippa. There are some big investors over there and I'm sure that you will find a buyer.

Have you tried french or german equivalents of flippa ? There is a french platform wich I forgot the name where seven figures revenue online business are regularly sold.

Swiss brokerages may not be the best choice because most of the time they sell physical business.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Selling a food product - Where to start? martin959 Business & entrepreneur 5 01.09.2020 11:03
Friday food thread - Coop to start selling bug burgers Medea Fleecestealer Food and drink 41 25.08.2017 14:06
What do I need to start selling homemade products? marketazilka Business & entrepreneur 1 07.04.2017 15:38
Should I look for IT job from outside Swiss? Where to start? anim2niax Employment 22 11.02.2014 09:58
Need to start a Swiss Co MikeUSA Business & entrepreneur 12 01.09.2009 09:35


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 23:48.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0