After a 2.5 year self-funded search that underwent a few different iterations, I recently closed on a 20-year old, DFW-based communications equipment company. It was a long, arduous road to get to this point, but I am so glad I stuck with the search.
I owe a ton of people thanks for sticking with me through the process, but I especially want to thank ^ and ^ at Live Oak Bank. They held my hand and provided extremely helpful guidance from the pre-LOI stage all the way until the last few minutes prior to wiring. They were extremely responsive to issues and helpful in working through the infinite numbers of problems that popped up in the 11th hour prior to closing.
I could not have conducted the legal due diligence and APA and related document negotiation without ^, Seth Walker, Madeline Joerg, and their team at Moore & Van Allen. John exclusively does search fund and independent sponsor transactions, and he and his team guided me through not only the legal challenges, but also and especially the emotional near-breakdowns that I experienced in the leadup to close. John, Seth, and Madeline worked long hours to make sure we got the deal done, and they were extremely professional throughout the process.
^ and his team at Lummis Consulting Services were invaluable in conducting the accounting due diligence, but Max was especially helpful during the Net Working Capital peg negotiations. As with all searches, the NWC discussion was tense and unpleasant, and Max and the LCS team helped walk through the issues with the sellers and their CPA, getting us to a mutually agreeable NWC amount.
There are so many more folks who supported me over the long and lonely journey to owning a search business, and I am forever grateful to each of you. Your guidance, patience, and constrtuctive criticism kept me going when I wasn't sure I'd ever get a deal to the finish line, and you pushed me in the right directions when I strayed off-course. Thank you.
Searchers - keep hacking away. The close will eventually come, even though this process is emotionally and psychologically draining. Searching was the hardest thing I've ever done, but after only 1.5 weeks of running the business, I can safely say that it was all worth it.