Top Ten Questions from Clients as they decided to list their companies with National Media Associates:
No. 10-- Q: I've been thinking I'm about ready to retire and would like to sell. But really don't wish to quit work completely. Should I wait to sell until I'm a bit older or sell the company now?
A: You'll certainly need to have a plan in place before listing the company. Because 2010, in most cases, was a year that saw marginal revenue increases or at the very least the same revenue year-over-year for most publishers, it's always best, if you have been considering a sale, to sell the company following a positive growth year or multiple growth years. We have found that motivation flows from the top down, and if an owner's motivation begins to decline, so will revenues. The buyers we will bring to the table normally invite the previous owner to stay on under a management agreement, or employment agreement. Because we represent your best interests, if you would like to stay following a sale, we will make sure that you do so under the best of circumstances.
And although we feel community newspaper values have stabilized somewhat, the values we are seeing currently we do not believe will increase dramatically in the short term. To be perfectly blunt, we do not feel it will be to your benefit to wait out the market or economy with respect to “growing” your value because of a future alteration or adjustment higher in the valuation of print media companies.
No. 9--Q: How long will it take to sell the company?
A: Because we normally like to bring multiple qualified buyers to each table.... If you would like to realize a sale quickly, because of health reasons, we can undoubtedly make that happen. However, also remember that your level of motivation will also be tied directly to the level of reality that you will set your value. We are also seeing many deals culminate with owner financing. If you are willing to accept terms and finance a portion of the sale, it would also certainly advance the sale.
No. 8--Q: Should I tell my employees, who have worked for me since they were in high school, that I'm selling the company?
A: We would like to answer that in the most sensitive way we know how...and there are several ways to go about it. But in essence we would like to say that for the health of the company and for you, you must operate your daily activities under a "business as usual" heading. We can advise you in a more direct way, since each client has their unique challenges.
No. 7--Q: I'll list my company with you, but I'll have to ask you to cut your commissions in half.
A: Because we represent your best interests at all times, we also must say that your best interests would not be represented if we were to cut our commissions for only your property. We have not agreed to cut commissions for any of our clients, and lowering your commissions would not be in your best interests. With that being said, our commissions which are based on a sliding scale, are lowered dramatically for our larger clients with revenues above $5 million. However, we would not represent you fairly now or in the future. We represent all of our clients in the fairest possible way.
No. 6--Q: Does your company only represent newspaper publishing companies?
A: We currently represent all print media companies, including dailies, weeklies and free weeklies and shoppers. Also note that National Media Associates represents publishing companies throughout the contiguous U.S., not simply one region. We represent publishers in California, Florida, the Northeast and all points in between.
No. 5--Q: What tax advantages would there be if...
A: If you would like to have a confidential conversation with us, there are several other questions that we would like to answer, and have consistently answered for clients, but normally following private conversations with you and following visits to your community. We also have a number of CPAs who advise us on the best approach to take with each individual client. We are as much concerned about you and your company, as we are about your community. We look forward to talking with you further and to answering questions you and your partners will have during our representation of you. Call us today so that we can initiate a mutually beneficial relationship.
No. 4-- What size of newspaper or shopper publishing company do you normally represent?
Currently, our clients represent wide ranging examples of print media companies, from newspapers that have been owned by the same family for multiple generations, to the corporate groups who have now decided that it would be in their best interests to consider a transaction this year. Because our personal backgrounds are deeply rooted in community newspapers, we cannot emphasize enough that we not only represent the best interests of our clients, but also the best interests of their communities that they serve. We have the experience to know which buyers, whether they are individuals or corporations, would best fit your needs and your community's needs. Whether your earnings are modest or robust, we would be more than happy to meet you and discuss our representation of your company.
No. 3,2,1,--To paraphrase a quote from Abraham Lincoln, knowledge is a broker's stock in trade. If you have a question that we haven't answered, or if we can share our top three answers to the most frequently asked questions with you in a confidential conversation, call our offices today either in Branson or Ada. We would enjoy meeting with you and being located in the nation's mid-section, we could certainly schedule a meeting later this week. We look forward to talking with you further about structuring a strong transaction for you and your company.