Selling To Another Business

Selling your business to another is a popular exit strategy. Trade sales can deliver a strategic premium and an exciting long-term home for your business. But a poorly managed trade sale can damage your business without delivering a deal. Our corporate finance advisors help owners make their exit happen.

Book a meeting

TRUSTED BY businesses across the UK

How we can help


We will help identify your personal goals for exiting your business and help you plan your sale. We will advise you on timing, valuation, and the readiness of your business for market.


We will prepare you and your business for the rigours of the process ahead. We will work with you to create a standout Information Memorandum, Financial Model and Data Room.

Optional caption to go here


We will identify buyers who are most likely to pay a strategic premium for your business. We put the opportunity to buy your business in front of the key decision makers.


We will manage a structured process designed to drive competitive tension and deliver the best offer for your business. We will ensure you have the confidence in your deal.

Optional caption to go here


We will ensure all key terms are agreed in advance. We will accurately position your business in the best way to maximise value dealing with any issues early.


We’ll lead the closing process and assume responsibility for the complexities of managing multiple parties, detailed negotiations and due diligence. We will sit alongside you as your lead advisor, protecting your interests to make the deal happen.



We have the expertise and capability to help sell your business no matter what industry you operate within.


We have the capability to help market and sell your business to interested buyers overseas.


We act as a ‘circuit breaker’ to remove the emotion and difficult conversations from your hands.


Why Shaw & Co


Our highly talented people are creative, innovative and thrive when faced with a deal-making challenge. It's no surprise that we make deals happen and turn your ambition into a greater outcome.

Learn more

Fees & charges


Our objective is to ensure that our fee more than pays for itself from the value we create for you and your business.

Learn more


How long does a trade sale process take to complete?

On average this can take between 6 weeks and 16 weeks depending on the complexity of the deal and the quality of information available.

Learn more
Can I extract more value if I sell to a trade buyer?

Commonly yes, you can extract more value when selling to a trade buyer as they are able to better access both sales and cost synergies and thus offer a strategic premium. However, a well-structured Private Equity deal can see an owner make considerably more over two or more transactions than they might on a single transaction with trade.

Learn more
Can Shaw & Co reach the right buyers for my business?

Yes, absolutely! We use a variety of techniques such as using our networks, desktop research and direct approach. A well-presented business as part of a professional process will get the attention of serious buyers. We have repeatedly proven our ability to access key buyers of any scale.

Learn more
Is it quicker to sell my business to my management team?

In certain circumstances yes, but in others no. A sale to a management team can at first appear more straight forward, but funding such a transaction can give rise to its own specific challenges. Equally, personality issues can also prove challenging when selling to a connected party with little room for either side to go if negotiations do not proceed well.

Learn more
I've already received an offer, what value can you add?

This is a common situation. Many owners don't think about selling until they receive an unsolicited offer. We can add significant value in helping you assess the offer, negotiate its improvement or often this is the spark that leads to taking the business to market more widely. Getting from offer to completion is a complex and fraught process, the opportunities for us to add value are no fewer even if you have an offer in hand.

Learn more
What are the disadvantages of selling my business to another business?

A premium price may be achieved when selling to another business but to justify this price the buyer may wish to realise certain synergies. This can sometimes result in the centralisation of certain functions and therefore redundancies. A buyer may wish to go further and change your current brand to align with theirs or change the culture within the business. Each brings about risks to the longevity of the business post acquisition if not handled delicately.

Learn more
What things can go wrong during a trade sale?

Trade sales go wrong when owners enter them under-prepared or in an opportunistic fashion. A sale places significant demands on senior management which can distract from business performance. Often a potential buyer will make an approach and an unexperienced owner will entertain this only to find that considerable time and energy is wasted before an offer is received. Quite often, this offer is disappointing as the business hasn't performed.

Learn more
What are the advantages of selling my business to another business?

Selling to another business, also known as a trade sale, can offer certain advantages that alternatives such as a Management Buyout (MBO) or Private Equity sale cannot. These include the possibility of achieving a strategic premium, greater career opportunities for your employees, a cleaner exit for owner managers and less focus on the ability of retained management, which can be a barrier to an MBO or Private Equity sale.

Learn more
How can a corporate finance advisor help me?

Corporate finance transactions are not an everyday activity and it is unlikely you will have the up-to-date knowledge you need in your team to navigate a deal. We provide expert advice when you need it to get the right solution for you.

Learn more
Why should I use Shaw & Co to help me with a trade sale?

We are experts in trade sales. We have managed sale processes on behalf of clients involving some of the world's largest businesses (such as Unilever) as well as much more modest ones. We can ensure that your business is fully prepared for the transaction and maximise its value by positioning the business with buyers in the best way. Our experience lets you know what is coming so that you can stay several steps ahead of negotiations. Selling a business is the largest transaction of many business owners' lives. It is not the time to "learn on the job" but the time to ensure that you have the absolute best experts alongside you.

Learn more
What size businesses do you sell?

We work with businesses looking to sell that have a value of more than £5m. We may agree to work with slightly smaller businesses in circumstances where a buyer has already been approached and the mandate falls short of a full marketing process. There is no theoretical maximum value of the businesses that we work with. In recent times sales values have approached £100m and our median deal value is between £20m and £30m.

Learn more
Are you a broker?

No, we are not brokers. We are professional advisors. Whilst our role often involves the introduction of parties to a deal, our value is much greater than a simple introduction service. We support you in the development and articulation of your business case, the negotiation of terms and the management of completion - all of which materially improve the end result, adding significant value to your transaction.

Learn more
How do you get paid?

Our fees are predominantly "Success Fees", meaning that we get paid on completion of the deal. We take great care to make sure our fees are aligned with your goals. We take pride in our fees always being a proportion of the value we add.

Learn more
Do you accept non-UK clients?

No - We work exclusively with UK-based SMEs and small cap PLCs. However, our clients often have international activities and we regularly transact with overseas buyers and investors or arrange overseas acquisitions on behalf of our UK clients.

Learn more
Are you sector specialists?

We have specific sector knowledge derived from many years of collective deal making experience. However, we pride ourselves on the diversity of sectors we work with which challenges us to think creatively. This creative and challenging approach brings huge value to our clients when helping them to build robust business cases.

Learn more


See all resources