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Helping you to buy a business
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Buying a business with Larking Gowen

We know, as you do, that buying a business is a wildly exciting opportunity. It can also be an unfamiliar and complex process fraught with risk. With us by your side, we will help you navigate these challenges and achieve a successful outcome. We will handle your business purchase with integrity and professionalism, whilst being flexible enough to shape our approach to fit your individual needs and requirements.

You may have already identified a target business and commenced discussions. Or you may need help finding one, in which case we can use our knowledge of the markets as well as our local, national and international connections to approach target businesses for you. Either way, we will guide you through your process and we can be trusted to do the right thing, not necessarily the easy thing along the way. We are also completely transparent in our fees, agreeing all charges with clients in advance.

In house expertise

We are considered and see the bigger picture, with a team that offers a breadth of services that range from valuing businesses and negotiating with vendors to raising funds, carrying out due diligence and co-ordinating the work of your legal advisers.

Our experience of acting for both buyers and sellers stands us apart from many other advisors and business transfer agents. We use this knowledge to spot opportunities to exploit and potential problems to manage.

We also combine our expertise of corporate transactions with our full range of in-house accountancy services, including crucial tax planning services, to help clients get the very best from their business acquisition. Our co-ordinated service offering promises you a joined up, comprehensive and cost-effective solution.

Management Buyouts

If you are a manager in a business and interested in buying out the current owner, a management buyout (MBO) could be your fast track to success.

Our specialists will guide you through the MBO process, making it as smooth as possible. So, whether you are looking to make an offer to the existing owners, obtain funding or simply understand what is involved in owning a company, our corporate transactions experts in East Anglia will work closely with you to achieve an excellent outcome.

The buying process and how we can help

The first step is for us to understand our clients’ aims and objectives for the proposed business acquisition, so we can establish the search criteria to feed into our Watching Brief Service and / or Proactive Approach Work. In some instances, the acquirer will already have a target business in mind, and may have commenced exploratory negotiations, in which case we will move straight into the Negotiation Phase.

Matching against the specific search criteria, we can provide prospective buyers with details of the most appropriate businesses for sale. No fee is charged for this service unless it results in the completion of a deal, and any such fees can be offset against our other services provided in relation to the acquisition process. To register your details for this service, please get in touch.

Based on your search criteria, we can identify and profile potential ‘off-market’ acquisition targets and provide you with a bespoke report summarising their potential suitability. Then, with your approval, we can approach these businesses on your behalf – anonymously if desired – to establish whether they would be interested in exploring a potential sale.

Having collated information from the sellers, we will carry out a brief review of the business in order to gauge its likely value. If financial support is needed to make the acquisition, we will help establish the likely investment required and prepare a brief synopsis for circulation to potential funders in order to gauge their interest.

We can help with the drafting of a written indicative offer letter, and then undertake all the negotiations on your behalf with the seller and their advisors, ensuring we get you the best possible result.

Once a deal is agreed in principle, the main terms are set out in a short document, often referred to as Heads of Terms or Heads of Agreement. This is not usually legally enforceable, although clauses covering confidentiality and exclusivity usually are.

With a deal agreed in principle, it is time to refer back to the potential funders and make a formal application. We can assist with this process, in particular with the creation of a business plan and / or financial forecasts, as well as introductions to suitable investors.

A crucial part of the acquisition process, it is essential to undertake a bespoke investigation into the target business to ensure you know exactly what you are buying. This can lead to the need to renegotiate elements of the proposed deal, and in certain instances it can result in a reassessment of the benefit of completing the deal itself.

Using Heads of Terms as a guide, the buyer’s solicitor usually prepares the legal contracts needed for the deal. This will include the agreement of warranties and indemnities given by the seller to protect the buyer after the deal has completed. It is not unusual for several drafts of these legal documents to be prepared before negotiations are agreed.

In order to reach a swift and efficient deal completion, it is important to co-ordinate the work needed for the funding, due diligence and legal contracts. Our experienced team of can help manage this process.

One of the most important considerations of buying a business is integrating it into your existing operations. This requires thorough planning before the deal completes, and focused implementation and regular monitoring afterwards. We can provide guidance and support throughout ensuring you maximise the synergies and economies of scale arising from combining the businesses.

Our tax specialists are available throughout the process, ensuring the deal is structured tax efficiently. Also, if required, they can form part of the due diligence team, identifying potential tax abilities in the target business and minimising their impact.

Jack Minns

Jack Minns

Corporate Transactions Partner

James Lay

James Lay

Corporate Transactions and Business Advisory Partner

Will Gibbs

Will Gibbs

Corporate Transactions Manager


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