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Unlocking Success with Vendor Financing in Business Acquisition Lending - WEBINAR RECAP

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We recently hosted a dynamic panel discussion with: Helen McSweeney from Canadian Western Bank, Abhishek Makkar with Maxima Divestitures Group & Andrew Burt from Fasken, on the topic of vendor financing.

Here is a summary of the conversation!

In the world of small business acquisitions, curating the right financing mix can be a game-changer. One key component that deserves your attention is vendor financing. This blog explores the ins and outs of business acquisition lending, acquisition loans, and commercial lending, taking into consideration the benefits and nuances of vendor financing.

Understanding Vendor Financing

  • Vendor financing is a financing arrangement where the seller steps in to provide financial support to the buyer. It serves as a bridge between the equity that the investor brings to the table and the overall value of the business. This method brings several benefits to the table.
  • Alternative Financing Source: Vendor financing opens up an additional channel of financing for small business acquisitions. It helps in overcoming financial constraints that can often deter potential buyers.
  • Shared Risk: By participating in vendor financing, sellers demonstrate their confidence in the business's future success. This show of faith can make the business more appealing to potential buyers and lenders.

Balancing Act: A Seller's Perspective

  • The success of vendor financing depends on a balanced approach to deal analysis, encompassing both financial and management considerations. Vendor takeback financing plays a pivotal role in ensuring the longevity and knowledge transfer of the business.
  • Sellers may initially hesitate to consider vendor financing, often due to the perceived loss of control. However, it's crucial to present a compelling narrative about the future growth of the business to overcome this obstacle. Vendor financing is a strong way to demonstrate confidence in the business's future, helping sellers maximize the value of their business.

Deal Structuring and Legal Considerations

  • Advisors and experts weighed in on the importance of flexible deal structures and the negotiability of terms and interest rates in business acquisitions. Creativity in deal structuring and not having rigid expectations can make a significant difference in the success of acquisitions.
  • Legal considerations come into play, including buyer promises to pay, security requirements, and covenants. Ensuring a smooth resolution is pivotal, although defaults on vendor take-back financing are said to be infrequent, with resolutions typically being collaborative efforts.

Mitigating Risks and the Evolving Landscape

  • From both buyer and seller perspectives, it’s important that risks in vendor financing are analyzed. Due diligence plays a crucial role in mitigating these risks, covering financial stability, personal guarantees, and legally binding agreements. Vendor takeback financing percentages may vary, currently ranging from 10% to 30%.
  • The landscape of vendor financing is evolving with typical terms spanning 3-5 years, and interest rates ranging from 6-12%. Transition periods in small business acquisitions are becoming longer, ranging from 60 days to 1 year. Early engagement with banks is advised for valuable advice and guidance.
  • As the financial landscape evolves, some banks are requiring higher down payments (10-30%), the vendor financing to be subordinate, and more frequent payments, highlighting the changing appetite and conversation around vendor financing.

In conclusion, business acquisition lending, acquisition loans, and commercial lending are dynamic landscapes where vendor financing is proving to be a game-changing tool. Its advantages, such as shared risk and flexible payment structures, make it an attractive option for both buyers and sellers in small business acquisitions. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, understanding and leveraging vendor financing can be the key to unlocking success in the world of business acquisitions. Vendor financing is one aspect of your acquisition solution. If are currently evaluating a deal and need support building your lending stack, we can help. Learn more about Acquirewell - Business acquisition lending, simplified.

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October 31, 2023
Webinar Series
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