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The External vs. Internal Sale

June 22, 2016 |  

About this episode


Barry Wood sold two virtually identical businesses over an 18 year period. The first was external and the second, internal. His exits clearly show the differences in an as close to apples-to-apples comparison as possible. The pros and cons may surprise.

When the time comes, do you want to sell your business externally, or internally to your employees or family members?

Once you decide, a little piece of you may always wonder how the other option would have played out. That’s why the story of Barry Wood is such an interesting case study. Wood is a door guy, who started M&I Door Systems in 1995, sold M&I in 1998, and then started another – virtually identical – door business in 2003, only to sell it in 2013.

Wood sold his first door business externally and his second internally, so his two exits allow us to see clearly the differences between these two types of sale with an as close to apples-to-apples comparison as possible. The pros and cons of selling externally rather than internally may surprise you.

You may be wondering how your Value Builder Score affects your likelihood of a successful external vs. internal exit. Generally speaking, the higher your Value Builder Score, the more likely you are to have a business that will be attractive to both internal and external buyers. To get your Value Builder Score, complete this questionnaire.

Check out our full M&A Glossary

About Our Guest

Barry Wood is CEO of Ontario Excavac Inc., a leading provider of hydro-excavation, infrastructure, renewal and improvement services to the utilities sector in south-central Ontario. Wood is an experienced, engaging and energetic CEO. He has a solid record of leading the acquisition of small to mid-sized manufacturing, distribution and service businesses and then growing and evolving them into polished and valued legacy businesses. Wood has worked internationally, setting up joint ventures in Asia and Europe, and he has worked with customers and suppliers ranging from the small to the largest multi-national companies. Wood has successfully bought four businesses in succession situations and executed two start-ups. He is a recognized leader in implementing continuous improvement and lean enterprise practices.

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