Book – Unlocking your company’s value

In: Books / 7 comments

12 Jul 2010

I found a really interesting book: Unlocking your company’s value. It is one of the few books that rightfully targets successful entrepreneurs (in other words, still entrepreneurs, but more than just “I have an idea”). It explains how an Exit “really” happens. Still more interesting, it has a perspective on our geographical area, meaning that everything he says there doesn’t apply only to the US, it goes for us, Eastern Europeans, as well.

I have known Les (the author) for a few years now – the guy lives in Hungary and he’s been doing this for years: helping entrepreneurs sell their companies, with all necessary steps that we can also find in the book:

  • Understanding personal reasons;
  • Monetization alternatives – Exit, IPO, Merger, Grow, Management Buyout, Refinancing, ESOP, Liquidation – understanding all of them and choosing the right option;
  • The team to help you – Legal advisor, Accountant, Tax expert, Financial Consultant;
  • What you have to do before in order to prepare a transaction – Corporate Governance, BP, Valuation, Tax planning, Exit Marketing Strategy, Timing, Contingency Plan;
  • • Managing the transaction itself – Competitive Process or Opportunity, Due Diligence, Offers, Structuring, Termsheet, SPA, Negotiation.

I have picked up some items from the table of contents here, but the book is overall extremely interesting: it puts all the notions related to exit in a perspective higher than “for dummies”, but lower than the level of an MBA course, both the hard concepts – definitions, advice, and the soft ones related to the difficult decisions in the life of an entrepreneur. All in all, I think that the topics with which the book begins are worthy of in-depth study:

  • A successful exit is always spontaneous but it appears as a result of a carefully prepared process;
  • Entrepreneurs underestimate the effort and the need for planning required by an exit;
  • In general, there is a large discrepancy between the evaluation of the company by the entrepreneurs and the evaluation of the company by the investors.

No doubt Les wrote the book to promote himself and his consulting company Europhoenix, but if his company can do everything he writes about here that it should be done, then perhaps it is really worth it. In any case, the book is a “must read”. I understand he is now translating it and in fall it’ll be available in bookstores in Romanian, but I think that, especially in the IT industry, reading a book about exits in English is a good first step ☺. Anyway, most of the terms will be untranslatable…

(English version by Teodora Popescu)

Original Romanian version

Carte – Unlocking your company’s value

Am gasit o carte interesanta: Unlocking your company’s value. Este una din putinele carti care se adreseaza corect antreprenorilor de success (adica inca antreprenor, dar mai mult decat “am o idee”). Explica cum anume se intampla un Exit “pe bune”. Inca mai interesant, are o perspectiva despre zona noastra geografica, adica tot ce zice el acolo nu se aplica numai la US, ci si la noi, est europenii.

Ma cunosc cu Les (autorul) de cativa ani – tanarul traieste in Ungaria si asta face de ani de zile: ajuta antreprenori sa-si vanda companiile. Cu toti pasii necesari, pasi pe care ii regasim si in carte:

  • Intelegerea motivelor personale;
  • Alternative de monetizare – Exit, IPO, Merger, Grow, Management Buyout, Refinancing, ESOP, Liquidation – Intelegerea tuturor si alegerea optiunii corecte;
  • Echipa care sa te ajute – Legal advisor, Accountant, Expert in taxe, Consultant Financiar;
  • Ce ai de facut inainte, in pregatirea unei tranzactii – Corporate Governance, BP, Valuation, Tax planning, Exit Marketing Strategy, Timing, Contingency Plan;
  • Gestionarea tranzactiei in sine – Proces Competitiv sau Oportunitate, Due Dilligence, Oferte, Structurare, Termsheet, SPA, Negociere.

Am spicuit din cuprins, dar cartea cu totul este extrem de interesanta: pune intr-o perspectiva mai sus decat “for dummies”, dar mai jos decat un curs MBA toate notiunile legate de exit. Atat cele Hard – definitii, sfaturi, cat si cele Soft legate de deciziile grele din viata unui antreprenor. Una peste alta cred ca temele cu care cartea incepe sunt intr-adevar de studiat si aprofundat:

  • Un exit de succes este intotdeauna spontan, dar apare ca rezultat al unui proces pregatit cu grija;
  • Antreprenorii subestimeaza efortul si necesitatea de planificare necesara unui exit;
  • In general este o discrepanta mare intre evaluarea companiei de catre antreprenori si investitori.

Fara indoiala ca Les a scris cartea pentru a se promova si a-si promova compania de consultanta Europhoenix, dar daca compania lui face tot ce povesteste el aici ca e de facut, atunci poate chiar merita. Cartea in tot cazul e un “must read”. Inteleg ca acum o traduce si in toamna va fi disponibila si in limba romana in librarii, dar cred ca mai ales in industria IT a citi o carte despre exit in engleza este un bun pas initial :-). Oricum majoritatea termenilor nu vor putea fi tradusi…



Mihai Ghita

July 12th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Interesanta descrierea de pe site. Am si comandat cartea cu ocazia vizitei.

Daca ai ocazia poate ii recomanzi sa faca butonul de cumparare rosu ca sa fie mai vizibil cand il cauti (eu l-am cautat vreun minut). Ii creste sigur rata de conversie 🙂

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July 14th, 2010 at 11:39 am

Foarte interesant, multumesc, auzisem de compania Euro Phoenix, vad ca au avut si proiecte in Romania, totusi n-as spune ca IT advisory este specialitatea lor.

Totusi de ce spui “tanarul” Les Nemethy? Are pe putin 45 de ani.

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The Blogs Rocket

July 18th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Very nice article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up posting.

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Mihai Ghita

July 28th, 2010 at 11:34 am

Intre timp a sosit si cartea si am avut si cateva zile sa fac o prima trecere prin ea.

Excelenta pentru oricine vrea sa isi construiasca nu neaparat o afacere vandabila ci una durabila (sunt echivalente dpdv al investitorului). Exemplele date din experienta proprie sunt si ele foarte utile.

Una peste alta am gasit in ea raspunsuri la intrebari pe care le aveam de multa vreme. Multumesc pentru recomandare.

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