Negotiation is the period, which happens between the moment, when the buyer declares their interest and the moment, when the contract is signed and the price paid.
The negotiation can consist of several stages, for example:
- The demand of complimentary documents, not included in the file
- A list of questions
- Discussions about price
- Discussions about conditions (payment delays, tax constraints, guarantees, continuation of certain contracts...)
- Discussions about documents to be signed (protocols, sales contract, liability warranty...)
- Post sale discussions (seller remains a shareholder or an advisor...)
- The wish to discuss with executives
- The wish to meet with clients
In the case of a large SME or a foreign buyer, this period can be relatively long (several months) and it is imperative for the seller to set a deadline for the completion of the process.
An acquisition sale is by definition, a risky process for both the seller and the buyer and this type of process is particularly difficult with steakholders, who do not have practical experience of these processes and who want to protect against all risks.