What’s next? Pair of companies prepares dealers, manufacturers for mergers and acquisitions

June 8, 2015 - Monday Morning Quarterback

Contract furniture dealer consolidation and succession planning is a huge issue, mostly because of the age of the industry. Many dealers that grew up along with the industry are now ready to retire, but don’t know how to do it. 

Whether you own a dealership or a manufacturing firm, the time to start planning for succession is now. It is not that the industry is ignoring the succession problem, said John Kerschen, managing director of Charter Capital Partners, a Grand Rapids firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions, capital, business valuation, succession planning and capital management. Instead, most business owners feel a sense of immortality. Everyone is working so hard, who has time to plan for the transfer of the business?

It is an issue that every business owner who walks into NeoCon next week will face, said Andrew Williams, vice president of Charter Capital’s Mishawaka, Ind. office. It is not just the dealers, but also the OEMs, suppliers and design firm owners. “It can be a challenging conversation to have, but we are big proponents of starting that process so you can have the runway in front of you,” said Williams. “The earlier you start the process, the better. Most owners invest so much sweat equity into the business, their valuation might not match the market, but the more time you have to figure that out, the easier it will be.” more

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