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Buying An Early Education Company--Mergers and Acquisitions


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Are you having trouble finding good childcare centers and schools to purchase? When you find a decent center or school, do you find it nearly impossible to get the due diligence materials you need? When you’re lucky enough to get the first two pieces of the puzzle, is it then a hassle to get the kind of financing terms you want? You’re not alone. These circumstances are very normal, especially in this market. The BFS® team solved these problems many years ago, and we continue to perform in good and bad markets alike.


Here’s how we can help you:


1. FINDING GOOD CHILDCARE CENTERS AND SCHOOLS TO PURCHASE: You may have several means of searching for companies to acquire including scouring the listings on line, and talking with various owners and brokers alike. These are certainly reasonable practices, but it doesn’t have to be that much work. You can click on this link, spend about three minutes to register with BFS® and have available centers and schools emailed directly to you when they exist in the area(s) that you choose. You will know about available centers and schools the day they enter the market. There is no avalanche of unwanted emails, and the emails you receive are designed to allow you to determine your interest level in less than two minutes—no exaggeration.


2. DUE DILIGENCE MATERIALS: Over our 20+ year history many buyers have returned to buy multiple centers and schools from BFS®. When asked why, the most popular answer is… “…because I get what I pay for…” Born out of an investment banking career, we understand the need for an organized, verifiable due diligence portfolio. Valuations from the real estate to the business component to the FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) are handled by the proper licensed professionals. We visit and inspect every Childcare Center, Preschool, Montessori, Special Needs and Private Elementary School, and we complete our own due diligence while constructing the company’s portfolio all before it is presented to you. Our database includes nearly every licensed early education center or school in the United States. At BFS®, we are well aware that the buyers of our selling clients’ companies have to be treated fairly if we want said buyers to return and buy companies from our future selling clients. Check anywhere ... we are a trustworthy resource for buyers.


3. FINANCING: Whether you have your own lender or not, the resources of BFS® can help you ensure that you are getting the best financing terms available for your acquisition or other projects. Our team will typically bring 15 to as many as 25 banks to each transaction. These banks / lenders compete for your business. It is very normal to receive multiple offers (term sheets) from these banks. SBA loans routinely require 10% to 15% down, but some transactions can be financed with less than 10% down from the buyer. If you would like more detailed information about financing, click on the “Financing” tab above or click here. You can also click here to watch BFS® videos or check out our blog to learn more.


4. REPRESENTATION: To begin, BFS® never represents a buying client in the acquisition of a company owned by a BFS® selling client. However, if you want to buy an early education company that is selling without BFS® representation, then we are exceptionally well-positioned to help you buy that company safely and at a price that is materially lower than market value. We understand that you want to pay the lowest possible price for your acquisitions and that you definitely want to avoid making the wrong acquisition. Here’s what you can expect from us.


A. Identification - We have the ability to help you locate the type of centers and schools that you want to own. Our database information includes nearly every licensed early education center and school in the country. If you haven’t positively identified the right centers or schools to buy, we can help you find the right places more efficiently.


B. Evaluation - Upon identification of an acquisition candidate by you or BFS®, we will evaluate the candidate company and determine its current market value. Based on this evaluation, we will advise you of the best methods for managing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the candidate so you can maximize your return on investment at the closing table and for years after your closing.


C. Negotiation - We will have a thorough understanding of your acquisition candidate and your requirements. As we have spent just over two decades negotiating from the largest factors to the smallest details of these transactions, we will be particularly effective during this step of the process. We will work closely with you, your attorney and your CPA to ensure that your final result shows the focus and experience necessary to make successful acquisitions.


D. Financing - As stated above, the BFS® team routinely secures 85 to 90% of total project financing for acquisitions. In some cases, total project financing may exceed 90% pending terms negotiated with seller. At BFS®, whether you choose to use conventional or SBA financing, banks are required to compete for buyer business. This process helps to ensure that you receive the best financing terms possible. We make it possible for you to have choices. You decide on the type of financing you want and you choose the bank you want to use. We will provide knowledge and support throughout the process.


E. Licensing - To operate in this industry, you must have the proper license and typically that license is required before closing your transaction. We’ll guide you through this process so your transaction can be completed safely, discreetly and efficiently so your closing isn’t delayed and your new center or school can transition smoothly.


F. Closing - We, along with other professionals, will prepare you for closing day. Whether there is a formal meeting to sign the documents or documents are delivered for your signature, we will make sure that nothing is overlooked.


G. Transition - We don’t disappear after your closing. We will guide you through your transition to help ensure that your new center or school will perform correctly from the start. It is vitally important that the employees and parents of the center or school learn of the change in ownership in a correctly controlled environment. We will help you organize your announcement meeting, and we will provide you with the template letters designed to make the purchase and transition of your new company as comfortable as possible for staff, parents, the seller and you.


As always, please contact us if you have any questions.