I believe the M&A expert, who has hopefully gone through a few M&As at least, can provide valuable insight and hind sight around what has made M&As successful and perhaps then utilize those as levers to improve price or experience of the people who are impacted by the selling of the part of the business they belong to. The M&A expert likely has really valuable market/industry insight as well, which can help in the sell strategy and evaluation of potential buyers.
First of all, if the seller employs an external M&A expert, this party should be able to provide a fair valuation of the company. This valuation should paint a realistic picture (likely a valuation range) for the seller in terms of how much his business is worth on the market at the given time. Next, the M&A expert should have access to several databases, which, combined with his market/industry insight, will help him find the right buyers/partners for the company. An M&A expert can also play a crucial role in the negotiation phase, as he is likely to be able to explain the rationale behind a potential deal more clear to the buyer, and ultimately secure a higher selling price.
I would add that an external M&A expert provides insights and perspectives on unforeseen issues that either company may not be contemplating. Having someone who has navigated multiple transactions can help both companies avoid pitfalls. In many cases, the executives of both companies are laser focused on getting through the transaction that sometimes they miss or get surprised by things that come up that were unexpected. An expert can help avoid such surprises.
M&A advisor may help in reviewing and negotiating the transaction. With their expertise, an advisor may also calculate the range value of the selling company with different approach using their database from any industry.
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