Sell That Puppy

picture of puppyNot every dog is a show dog.

“Sell that puppy!” It’s easy to make jokes about distressed or under-performing companies, but it is serious business to stabilize them, resurrect them, rejuvenate them, or to develop a strategy for selling them. It takes both analytical skills and creativity to figure out who might purchase an ailing business for a fair price and then get to a Closing before the entire deal – and company – collapses.

Indeed, not every dog is a show dog, and it can be difficult to find qualified professionals willing to roll up their sleeves and do what it really takes to teach an old dog new tricks or to race against the clock to “find a new home” for the old dog before it is too late. That’s where we come in.


We help lenders, investors, business owners and other professionals by assessing under-performing companies to determine strategic alternatives and then quickly implementing the appropriate plan. Options might include:

  • Business enhancement or revitalization efforts
  • Merger and acquisition opportunities
  • Creative divestitures

Following are a few short examples of how we worked with distressed companies to find positive solutions.

Distressed Company M&A and Divestitures

A major out-of-state lender asked Fidia to identify and assess the strategic options of a poorly performing portfolio company. As a result of our analysis and ability to think outside of the box we were able to successfully develop and implement a divestiture plan for this multi-million dollar manufacturing company that resulted in the lender recouping several hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they had expected. All of this was accomplished in only 39 calendar days.

In another situation, Fidia was engaged by a privately held manufacturing business that had been rapidly deteriorating due to the patriarch’s failing health. The 30+ year old business was facing an imminent bankruptcy. With Fidia’s guidance, the company progressed from “we don’t know if we can make payroll this week” to surviving long enough to meet all of the critical objectives that had been established. Those objectives included:

  • Maximize cash flow to provide enough time to implement our plan.
  • Protect the family’s personal assets through the elimination of all secured debt.
  • Find creative ways to maximize the cash value of raw materials, inventory and other assets.
  • Minimize personal and corporate liability by strictly adhering to high ethical and legal standards and working closely with the company’s bankruptcy counsel to avoid any inadvertent legal mistakes.

Sometimes They Blossom

Fidia was again asked to consult a portfolio company of a large lender to help the company determine its strategic alternatives, including options for growth or the possibility of selling the business. After studying the industry and working with management to perform a strategic assessment of the business, Fidia concluded that this company had an opportunity to consolidate its industry segment and become the undisputed leader in its category. As a result of Fidia’s analysis, opportunity identification skills and strategy development, the client regained the support of its lender and embarked on an aggressive growth plan that included internal sales growth as well as growth by acquisition.

Finding Buyers By Thinking Out of the Box

Retained by a highly specialized local service business to find a buyer, Fidia identified a strategic buyer for the company and created an unusual opportunity for a non-industry buyer to make a competing offer by acquiring two companies simultaneously to provide operating leverage. The resulting offers from both buyers were considerably higher than indicated by a purely economic valuation of the selling company.

Special Care for Special Needs

A marginally profitable, owner-managed service company asked Fidia if it could find an appropriate buyer that would be able to acquire the company and retain the services of the two owner-managers. Fidia was able to negotiate a transaction with a major competitor of the sellers and helped consolidate this specialized niche and create the leading company of its kind in its mid-Atlantic trading area.

Ready When You Are (perhaps before you are)

Businesses can lose value quickly. If your business, or that of a client or friend, is showing signs of distress, please don’t wait to contact us. We often see situations that could have had very good outcomes if only the owners or advisors had contacted us sooner. So, please don’t wait too dog-gone long to get help. Any time you are ready to discuss your situation, we’re ready to listen.

Call (804) 327-1111


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