Trade sales

A trade sale is a popular exit strategy as it often delivers a strategic premium and long-term home for your business. When the time is right for you to sell your business, our Trade Sales experts can help.

What does this service provide?

If you have decided to exit your business through a trade sale, here’s some of the support our specialists can offer:

  • We will identify and bring into discussions those buyers most likely to pay a strategic premium for your business.
  • We will manage the end-to-end process of preparing your business for a trade sale, taking it to market and executing the transaction with trade purchasers.
  • We will guide you through the strategic requirements of trade buyers, accurately position your business and present it in the best way to maximise value.
  • We will facilitate the exit of current shareholders, either immediately or as part of a staged process.
  • We will partner your business with a strategic buyer who can take the business forward and further develop it.

Important things to consider

  1. To successfully execute a trade sale the buyer must be convinced of the strategic value of acquiring your business and this must outweigh the risks. Sales simply for volume are rare in today’s markets with potential buyer preferring organic routes to volume.
  2. With a trade sale you need to maintain a high level of confidentiality to avoid the risk of creating uncertainty among employees, suppliers and other key stakeholders. Approaching the sale as a ‘private placement’ best protects the value of your asset.
  3. During these types of transactions, we invest a lot of time understanding who the key buyers are, ensuring the maximum premiums can be extracted and placing your business with the most suitable buyer audience.
  4. The market value of your business is a function of who the buyer is. Your business may be more valuable to one buyer than it is for another based on where they can move the business to. Understanding this strategic value to the buyer is where you can unlock maximum returns.
  5. Significant value can be left on the table if you don’t fully understand how to structure completion and working capital mechanisms.
  6. Many business owners overestimate the value of their business which can stall the deal. Realistic valuation expectations are critical.

How much will the service cost?

Our fees are designed to ensure that we are totally aligned with your objectives. We have designed, over years of experience, a balance between commitment fees and success fees that makes sure that we are “in it together”. Our objective is for clients to always see value in our fees that significantly exceeds cost.

What should I do next?

If you would like Shaw & Co to help you with a trade sale, please contact one of our corporate finance experts shown on this page, or click the arrange a meeting button.

“A trade sale is typically the most complex and highest value transaction you will undertake in your life. Never underestimate the time burden of doing this type of transaction, nor the level of support you will need. Many business owners underestimate what they don’t know about these transactions. Most people sellers haven’t sold before. Learning on the job when there is multiple millions at stake isn’t a wise thing to do.”

Jim Shaw, Founder & Partner

Download our Ultimate Guide to Exit

Over 30 pages of guidance on how to achieve an exit of your business


Realise value

Achieve a strategic premium on your business’s valuation by selling to the right buyer, at the right time identified through our proactive exit planning process.


If important to you, find a buyer who will not only reward you for your hard work but continue your company mission, stay true to its values and reward your employees.

More opportunity

Following a trade sale, your business can use all the resources available through the new owner to grow to the next level. Often owner-managers stay with the business post-sale and find new career opportunities.

This is for you if...

You are ready to start the process of bringing about the realisation of your investment and believe that a sale to a trade buyer best suits your objectives.

View all case studies