From the bestselling author of The Private Equity Playbook comes Adam Coffey’s second offering, The Exit-Strategy Playbook. Explore the universe of potential buyers. Learn how to assemble a team of expert advisors to prepare a business for sale. Walk step by step through a typical investment-banker-led midmarket sale process from start to finish.
Adam Coffey has spent the last twenty years as CEO of three private-equity-backed national service companies. Through his experience executing a buy-and-build strategy, he has bought and sold more than 100 companies ranging in size from $1 million to $1 billion.
Selling a business is an art. Learn from an experienced artist how to successfully navigate the sale process. This book isn’t about selling fast—it’s about selling smart and achieving maximum value for the time and effort that’s been put into the company. I recently caught up with Adam to see what inspired him to write the book—and I really enjoyed hearing that story.
What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?
Over the past 20 years, I have had the pleasure of serving as CEO of three different, national service companies backed by private equity. I had been thinking about writing a book on the subject of private equity for several years, but it was while walking the dogs with my wife that I realized, given the explosive growth of private equity—now with more than $4.5 trillion in assets under management—that the vast majority of business people and entrepreneurs in the world would flunk even a basic quiz about the subject. It was like a giant black hole of knowledge.
I decided at that moment, I could take 20 years worth of cumulative learning and write my first book, The Private Equity Playbook. After publishing, it held the #1 bestseller position in several business categories on Amazon for a better than 2 year period. During this time, hundreds of people from around the globe reached out to ask follow-up questions. Those interactions directly led to book 2: The Exit Strategy Playbook! One walk with the dogs two years ago has now yielded a global cult classic and my soon-to-be-released follow-up!
What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?
My favorite actionable idea from both books is the concept of selling your business—not once, but multiple times by partnering with private equity and becoming a rollover investor.
Most entrepreneurs think of exiting a business as a one-time event. Start a business, build it over years, then exit it to the highest builder. Nothing wrong with that concept, but what if I told you there was a different way? What if I told you that by partnering with private equity, you could cash out some of your chips to get needed liquidity and asset diversification, but then you could roll over a portion of your proceeds, ride private equity’s coattails and get subsequent paydays bigger than your first? Read the book—I’ll explain this process in great detail.
What’s the story of how you have applied this lesson in your own life? What has it done for you?
I personally have sold the three businesses I have built a total of eight times in twenty years. My biggest exit: a billion dollars! The end result is the creation of generational wealth that will still be around long after I am gone! The concept is simple, and one any entrepreneur can follow.
My personal record is five multimillion dollar paydays selling the same company five times in thirteen years! Sound impossible? I’ll show you how it’s done and how you can do it too!