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Analyst Insight

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A would-be seller's job is never easy, even when it appears that all the market factors are in your favor and both financial and strategic buyers are lining up to spend money. Roland DeSilva, managing partner at media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips, says successful sellers are those that can clearly articulate all the reasons their properties are attractive.

"It all starts with a well-defined business mission," DeSilva said. "And that needs to be backed with every relevant bit of financial data, from net revenue per page to the advertising-to-editorial ratio to market share to seasonal effects. You also need historical data for at least the past three years and an ongoing budget that spans into 2006."

A good profile of the company's management team is also a must. "You need to illustrate their strengths and point out the key players who are in charge of the revenue streams as well as the editorial content," DeSilva said.

"You need to provide all the information that will help answer a buyer's ultimate questions: What would happen if this franchise were to disappear tomorrow? Would it create a massive void in the industry? Would readers and advertisers be up in arms about its loss?"

-Roger Slavens

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