Backblaze, an online backup service, had two good offers and yet failed to convert either into an internet business for sale transaction, turning their failed sell into an expensive distraction that lasted for months. You can read the chatty details here, but the bottom line seems to be that they took the CEO of the acquiring company at his word, instead of burrowing deeper to see how seriously he was supported by the board. As it turns out, it seems he wasn’t. As an Advisor Internet business broker or website broker for iMerge Advisors I know we all carefully screen buyers and get sign off from all participants on the buyside so there are no surprises.
As M&A advisors we see it as applying our energy to keep three principles in balance:
1. A bullheaded, vigorous determination to get our clients a good deal done
2. A skepticism that is constantly asking ‘what are the next biggest threats to this deal, and how to we efficiently address them now, instead of letting them reappear to sink a deal later?’ Knowing what the biggest risks are is its own art; (check back in the future for a blog posting on those.)
3. Faith that even when everyone thinks a transaction is hopeless, that is often the precursor to a breakthrough.