Jerry Mills, CEO of B2B Exit and B2B CFO, Author of The Exit Strategy Handbook

Jerry Mills

Jerry Mills founded B2B CFO, the nation’s largest CFO firm, in 1987 and is considered a pioneer in the CFO Services industry. Mills was recently named an AM&AA Thought Leader of the Year finalist for his book, The Exit Strategy Handbook. Jerry also founded B2B Exit, providing exit tools and talent to assist in exiting your business.

Fundology: Jerry, can you please give us a brief introduction, and tell us what drew you to the space.
Mills: Yes, well first let me tell you just briefly about myself. I started my career with Arthur Andersen. I was a manager. I saw this void in the space, and I just started this business in 1987, and we now have professionals in my company in 45 states around the country. So here we are.

Fundology: You’re an expert on business exiting. What is the most important thing that a business owner should do to successfully exit the company?
Mills: Well my experience in over a quarter of a century is that most business owners don’t understand that it’s harder to sell a business than it is to build it. They’re really good at building, and they haven’t had the experience of selling it. And when they decide to sell it, they typically don’t know the right price, and they don’t know the process. So what we try to do is teach them the process because if they take their eyes off of running the company, typically sales, and also the value of the company, whatever the value is, goes down. And so what we find is they’re just really good at building businesses, they don’t know how to sell it properly. And that’s what we help with.

Fundology: When you’re advising a company that is planning an exit, do you do all of the work yourself? Do you bring a team in to work with you?
Mills: No, we don’t do the work ourselves. We advise the business owner against that. That’s one of the hallmarks of The Exit Strategy Handbook, and also the software that we’ve written for this process. We felt that the business owner needs a team. The business owner needs to be in charge, and that’s why with our software they can look at the process every day if they want to, to see where it is. But we want a team. We call it the success team. We want typically an M&A firm or investment banker. We want an attorney that the owner trusts. We want tax CPA’s so they can calculate the after-tax money. We want certified valuation appraisals and so forth. Usually we recommend there’s about eight to ten people on that team that work in congruence with the business owner in helping support them. We believe in the team concept because there’s so many good professionals, and they need to use their skill set to help further the goals of the business owner.

Fundology: And how do you select those team members?
Mills: Well, business owners are interesting. They typically have some people that they already know, maybe an attorney, maybe a CPA for the taxes or audit, and so they have relationships, and typically they like keeping those relationships. But if they don’t have other relationships; for example, an M&A firm, an investment banker, or if they need some other advisers — we’ve been doing this for a long time, and we just have those relationships. We typically — when we introduce a professional to the business owner, we ask them to interview two or three different people because the personality has to fit as well as the skill set. They have to get along, and not only with the business owner, but with the team. So we will make recommendations, and then hopefully, by going through that process, we can build a cohesive team. And simultaneously, we can let the business owner keep doing what he or she is doing, get out of the process, and just go build the value of the company.

Fundology: Can you tell us about a unique situation that you’ve worked on, advising a company?
Mills: Well, there have been so many. We had one in our firm recently where we were going through this process. It was a female-owned business, very successful. And she was married, and she passed away suddenly. And so her husband then was given the role to step in her shoes to go through this exit strategy process. And he fortunately, we think, inherited the values his wife had. She didn’t take the top bid. She went with a lower bid because the lower bid had the values of taking care of her employees. And so you never know when you’re working in a situation. What we want to do is work together with our professionals and the team to carry out the goals and missions of the business owners. So that’s a unique situation, but overall, it may not be that unique.

Joy Schoffler, Principal of Leverage PR

Joy Schoffler, Principal of Leverage PR

Find out more about Joy Schoffler and Leverage PR.

Leverage PR is a full-service public relations firm delivering strategic planning, media relations, and communications strategies to companies within the financial, legal, and technology industries. Leverage PR has developed a niche for itself in the emerging equity Crowdfunding sector. Joy Schoffler, Principal of Leverage PR, is a nationally recognized author and speaker in the emerging Crowdfunding industry. Within Leverage, Joy oversees day to day operations and directs strategy for all Leverage PR accounts.

Fundology: Tell us about the services that Leverage PR provides.
Schoffler: We work with companies in the financial space as well as entrepreneurial thought leaders and people whose customer bases are entrepreneurs. My background is in raising capital and private equities and at helping take a startup to the Inc. List multiple times and get acquired. So, we work with a lot of very high growth companies that need to have a solid understanding of finance and the marketplace.

Fundology: How have your experiences being involved in high growth companies influenced your work with Leverage?
Schoffler: My background wasn’t in PR. It’s actually in raising capital; I was director of acquisitions for an investment firm. But, whenever I would do a capital raise, I would find that [we would get more investors] if I got publicity for the CEO, getting him quoted in a publication. Of course, we couldn’t talk about the fact that we were raising capital because that would violate general solicitation laws. But if I got him quoted talking about the market for some properties, [being a] commercial real estate investment firm, it allowed us to close a lot more investors because we were now credible. We were validated. We had members of the media who were using us as their sources. We knew how to market ourselves. It gives a more polished look to your company. With 50% of all companies failing, credibility is huge for growth stage and early stage companies.

Fundology: How do you create value for the companies you work with?
Schoffler: At Leverage, we not only help them get great media – we’ve been in USA Today, we’re constantly in Forbes, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, VentureBeat; we have all these high-profile publications – but we also work with targeted industry blogs. We’ll find out exactly where their customer base is, why, and we’ll execute media campaigns that target their customer bases.

For example, one of our clients is a healthcare investment bank. We’ll go out to different publications in the healthcare industry and help get them coverage in those publications talking about the market for their services, the changes [in the market], and really having strategic story blanks that are actually helping position them as an expert and helping them meet their goals.

Fundology: What strategies have you used to grow your business?
Schoffler: As far as Leverage is concerned, we do a lot of speaking engagements. We do a lot of media interviews. We drink our own Kool-aid. We believe that PR works, hence why i’m interviewing with you today. We think showing that you are a thought-leader and showing that you know what you’re talking about is the number one way to close sales and bring in leads. It’s getting out there and networking with the people who are actually doing the big stuff in the world is going to accomplish your goals.

Fundology: You’re considered an expert in crowdfunding; what are your thoughts on the repeal of the ban on general solicitation and what does it mean for crowdfunding and your company, as well?
Schoffler: It’s a very important first move. When crowdfunding passed, everybody was very excited about the cost-effective raising capital from unaccredited investors, but what a lot of people don’t realize is there is a lot of accredited investors out there that are not being tapped into. There’s a few different statistics from other years out there. The last statistic I heard was 17% and that was from 2011. Only 17% of accredited investors actually invest in private equity offering, so private companies, right?

What that means is that there is a lot of potential capitals sitting in the sidelines that is a good proof of concept for what crowdfunding can do. Lifting that ban on general solicitation allows more people to hear of projects. One of our clients is a company called EquityNet. They have a crowdfunding platform that’s simply designed for this ban on general solicitation being lifted and will allow people to actually get their company out in front of their networks, in front of people who could be accredited, to be able to see that deal.

If you’re a medical company and you’re getting written up in these journals or if you’re a tech company who has a technology for mobile communications, for example, and you’re written up in those publications where your perspective strategic investors are, not only are you going to get high quality investors but you’re also going to have good strategic investors who are worth a lot more than just the money. Every investor who is in your company should only be there if they’re contributing with money as well as helping you build your company.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., to Acquire Bausch + Lomb For $8.7 Billion

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., to Acquire Bausch + Lomb For $8.7 Billion

Deal of the Week
An exclusive addition to Movers, Shakers and Dealmakers, Deal of the Week highlights a significant transaction. As always, we welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., to Acquire Bausch + Lomb For $8.7 Billion

LAVAL, Quebec and ROCHESTER, NY— In an eye-popping deal Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., and Bausch + Lomb Holdings Inc., the global eye-health company, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Valeant will acquire Bausch + Lomb for $8.7 billion in cash.
Valeant will pay aggregate consideration of $8.7 billion in cash, of which approximately $4.5 billion will go to an investor group led by Warburg Pincus and approximately $4.2 billion will be used to repay Bausch + Lomb’s outstanding debt. Valeant expects to achieve at least $800 million in annual cost savings by end of 2014. Bausch + Lomb expects to have revenues of approximately $3.3 billion and adjusted EBITDA in 2013 of approximately $720 million. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Valeant’s cash earnings per share. Assuming the transaction occurred on January 1, 2013 and assuming the full realization of synergies, the acquisition would have been approximately 40% accretive to Valeant’s expected 2013 Cash EPS.
The transaction will be financed with debt and approximately $1.5 – $2 billion of new equity. Valeant has secured fully committed debt financing for the transaction from Goldman Sachs Bank USA.
Bausch + Lomb is a leading global eye health company that operates in three segments: Pharmaceutical (including prescription brands, generics and over-the-counter), Vision Care (contact lenses and solutions), and Surgical (intraocular lenses and surgical equipment). Bausch + Lomb has a broad portfolio of eye health products, including well-known prescription and OTC brands Besivance, Lotemax, Ocuvite and PreserVision; vision care brands Biotrue ONEday, PureVision, renu and Boston; and surgical brands enVista, Storz, Stellaris and VICTUS. Bausch + Lomb will retain its name and become a division of Valeant. Valeant’s existing ophthalmology businesses will be integrated into the Bausch + Lomb division, creating a global eye health platform with estimated pro forma 2013 net revenue of more than $3.5 billion. The acquisition positions Valeant to capitalize on growing eye health trends driven by an aging patient population, an increased rate of diabetes and demand from emerging markets. The combined business will also benefit from access to a strong product portfolio and a late stage pipeline of innovative, new products.

To suggest a Deal-of-the-Week, please contact Joseph Finora at: jfinora@optonline.net.

Yahoo Agrees to Buy Tumblr

yahoo, tumblr

Deal of the Week
An exclusive addition to Movers, Shakers and Dealmakers, Deal of the Week highlights a significant transaction. As always, we welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions.

Yahoo Agrees to Buy Tumblr

Promises ‘Not to Screw It Up’

Yahoo Inc., has agreed to buy blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion cash. The acquisition gives Tumblr a huge amount of money while giving ageing Yahoo a social media shot-in-the-arm. Blasted by users and analysts alike as an ailing network, the Tumblr grab may help the declining brand appeal to a younger group of users and will undoubtedly be the acquisition that
Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is betting her business biography on.
The combination alone of Yahoo and Tumblr will form an online monster with some one billion users. The numbers increase is to pull in more advertisers and help Yahoo keep visitors on its properties for longer periods of time, according to Mayer. The underlining promise, “not to screw it up,” will undoubtedly go down as one of the more memorable business quotes of 2013.
Analysts argued that Yahoo appeared to be overpaying for a business that has never posted a profit, earns a fraction of Yahoo’s sales, and may not contribute significantly to revenue for years. Others claim Yahoo had to make a move to revive its social media reputation. Similarly, Yahoo announced that it was going to be “sensitive” to concerns that it might damage Tumblr by making it less irreverent or “more corporate,” vowing to let the smaller firm keep its independence – time will tell.

To suggest a Deal-of-the-Week, please contact Joseph Finora at: jfinora@optonline.net.

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Link: Monroe Capital CEO Ted Koenig Tackles Middle-Market Debt Issues in Movers, Shakers and Dealmakers Interview on Fundology.com

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Ethan Austin, President of GiveForward Discusses Future of E-Giving in Movers, Shakers and Dealmakers Interview on: http://www.Fundology.com

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