Understanding the selling process

Getting ready to sell

We would initially talk to you in strict confidence about valuation, timing, organising your financial information and the sensitivities connected to the sale.

Sale Agreement

ACF would then agree with you a sale agreement detailing the plan for the sale of your business and our fee structure.


We write and agree with you a prospectus of your company. In some cases this prospectus will be fairly extensive where confidentiality is not a major consideration. However, sometimes very restricted information is made available when circumstances dictate. This prospectus will be the information disclosed to interested buyers after the signing of a confidentiality agreement.

Finding Buyers

ACF draw up a list of potential buyers using our data base and professional contacts. We are in touch with many companies looking to acquire good companies.

Our data base covers all UK limited companies businesses and many Overseas companies active in this country. It contains contact names for company directors and shareholders so that we can target named decision makers on your behalf.

We also have a large number of contacts for companies actively seeking acquisitions in the UK and regularly contact them with details of our available companies for sale.

We screen these lists to identify the best prospects.

Making Contact

All the targeted contacts are sent a brief outline of your business. At this stage the company name will not be disclosed. We also make brief details available on our website and on other websites which are scanned by potential buyers.

Follow up information

Potential buyers showing an interest must to sign a confidentiality agreement before we send them your full prospectus. We then follow up each one with a personal call. At this stage a buyer will often ask for additional information in order to evaluate the ‘fit’ with their organisation. We will always obtain permission from our clients before releasing information additional to the prospectus. On your behalf , we check that the buyer has sufficient finance for the deal and manage their price expectations. We finish with a short list of interested buyers prepared to discuss a sensible price.


Meetings are arranged by us between yourselves and the bidders. We will advise you on what and how to best present your company and will usually attend the meeting .

Further Work

Serious bidders will require more detailed financial information in order to formulate their bid. ACF will assist you and your accountants to provide this.

Receiving Offers

All offers are discussed with the client. We then negotiate them on your behalf .
A deal may involve more than just a straight share sale. There may be agreements for key personnel staying with the business, future earn outs if profit targets are achieved , negotiations on assets and premises . Whatever is the best deal for our client we will work to negotiate it for you .

Closing the Deal

We will advise you on the specialist, legal and financial requirements in order to close the deal quickly and efficiently. We will also work, as necessary, with your lawyers to progress the deal smoothly to a conclusion.