Sellers would be well served to assess their assets objectively and ask themselves who can benefit the most from them
Assets may have served a company well in one way or another; however, they may serve their next owner more profitably and in ways sellers have not yet considered. The application of the subject assets to the buyer’s existing assets, skills, processes, and problems determines that buyer's ROI. Step out of the usual way of thinking about owned assets, and consider how other market players could best exploit them. The assets could be worth more to another owner than they are to the current owner. Part of this additional value may be captured by a skilled negotiation, but it is always wise to identify the strategic buyers positioned to gain the most from the assets, in advance.
Find synergies to maximize the delta
Take a fresh look at the assets and the factors that currently constrain their growth. How can the assets be better deployed? What is the maximum that an owner can secure from the assets if unimpeded by constraints, lack of capabilities and lack of relationships?
The value of an asset is heavily dependent on the context within which it is deployed. If a buyer has more capabilities, more relationships and less constraints than the existing owner, the buyer will derive more value from the assets that are being sold.
For example, a patent is a more valuable asset to a buyer if the buyer has more operational expertise and capabilities to apply the patented methods or processes than the seller has. The difference between the asset value to the seller and the asset value to the buyer is “Delta”. An astute seller will find a target buyer that maximizes the Delta. Then prepare to capture a portion of the Delta value during negotiation.
Leverage "Network Hubs” to avoid missing the most suitable buyer
Leverage networks to identify the best asset buyers.
It is important to start with a broad-based asset assessment exercise to identify all relevant categories that the company fits. This ensures that no buyer in a relevant market segment is missed.
Each market segment requires a thorough survey of potential investors. This is best done through “network hubs” – individuals or institutions that have deep relationships with strategic investors in each market segment.
Work with each market segment’s “Network Hub” to identify synergies in that market and quantify the benefit derived by each buyer that could leverage the assets being sold.
Leverage relationships with Network Hubs to establish a trusted relationship with targeted buyers and investors, and schedule an in-person meeting to discuss the opportunity.