How To Structure Your Earn-Out

November 9, 2016 |  

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Mark Stephenson and his partners grew Media Edge Communications, to north of $10MM when they agreed to sell. If Stephenson had a do over, he would change his earn-out structure to avoid leaving money on the table.

Mark Stephenson and his partners grew their conference business, Media Edge Communications, to north of $10 million in annual revenue when they were approached by an acquirer. They agreed to a deal that was just shy of eight times EBITDA—85% of the deal was in cash with 15% in an earn-out. If Stephenson had the deal to do over again, he would change his earn-out structure to avoid leaving money on the table. You’ll learn about Stephenson’s earn-out mistake along with:

  • The emotional impact of selling.
  • How buyers try to grind you down during diligence (and how to counter).
  • How to tell the difference between a tire-kicker and a serious acquirer.
  • How long it takes to negotiate the sale of a business.

Stephenson sold Media Edge and started a new conference business, where one of the first event properties was a conference called Business Transitions Forum. Business Transitions Forum is a conference all about the process of exiting a business which you can learn more about here.

Click to Tweet: Episode 68 of BuiltToSell Radio: How to structure your earn-out with Mark Stephenson.

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At Built to Sell we’re all about shifting the balance of power from the buyer to the seller. If you support our mission, please write a review on iTunes—and if you have any comments or questions you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Tune in every Wednesday for another episode of #BuiltToSell Radio with John Warrillow.

Our guest

Mark Stephenson has worked in the conference and tradeshow business for over 25 years. As a proud contributor to the industry, Stephenson has overseen more than a dozen successful brands of conferences, trade and consumer events serving the design, construction, property management and real estate industries in both Canada and the United States. Managing a team of up 20 colleagues, some of the brands that Stephenson produced and managed include Buildex, The Real Estate Forums and Cargo Logistics. Born and raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Stephenson was naturally drawn to the spirit of entrepreneurism at a young age. He developed his interest in real estate development and design through a successful publishing career which led to event production.

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