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SME Transition

Prepare for a successful transfer or sale of your company

#1

FT ranked logo colour

in Executive Education according to the Financial Times

23

former participants

4.1/5

for Learning Impact

Your life’s work has been building your SME. And then the time comes: you want to sell it, transfer it, or enter into a merger. Detailed preparation is key to making the transition successful and profitable. This programme gives you the understanding and approaches you need to complete a satisfactory transfer or sale and a valuable opportunity to have your plans scrutinised by a board of lawyers, advisors, bankers and experts.

Detailed programme

The SME Transition programme focuses on the essential insights you need to achieve a smooth transfer or sale of your company. 

Each module finishes with specific assignments to apply to your own company. There are five modules that take you on a step-by-step journey – and an optional sixth module that covers family business transfers and sales. You’ll learn from guest speakers who’ve been through the journey themselves – and you’ll share experiences with fellow participants.

By the end of the programme, you’ll have a well-developed transition plan – which you’ll present to a panel of lawyers, advisors, bankers and Vlerick professors. 

Module 1: Taking the first steps

  • Explore whether to opt for a family transfer or sale
  • Discover whether a partial sale or phased exit could be an option
  • Understand the state of the M&A market – and how to find a buyer
  • Develop a practical step-by-step plan – and know how investors view your company
  • Delve into getting the most from professional guidance
  • Discover how to raise the value of your company

Module 2: What is your company worth? 

  • Understand the price you can realistically expect
  • Explore alternative valuation methods
  • Know the pitfalls to avoid
  • Discover how to get the highest price

Module 3 – Leadership and transition

  • Know what it takes to lead in a transition phase
  • Understand the role of an external manager in facilitating a transfer
  • Discover how to work with advisors

Module 4: Mastering negotiations

  • Explore how to achieve a win-win situation
  • Discover the negotiation techniques you’ll need to achieve it
  • Understand how to win the buyer’s trust
  • Know how to avoid family conflicts

Module 5: Optional – Family transfer and sale

  • Understand how to avoid conflict
  • Discover how to set up family governance structures
  • Define who will take on which role
  • Explore private equity as an option
  • Know who you’ll sell your company to – and why
  • Get to grips with succession and estate planning – as well as the tax implications of family transfer
  • Explore long-term wealth management 

Module 6: Get expert feedback on your plan

  • Present your plan to a panel of lawyers, advisors, bankers and Vlerick professors
  • Use their advice to finesse your approach
  • Finish the programme with a concrete plan and a thorough understanding of how to succeed
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Why this programme

  • Know the right questions to ask – and understand all the approaches you could take 
  • Identify the right buyer – and calculate the value of your company 
  • Draw up a clear step-by-step plan  
  • Know how to guide your external advisors  
  • Negotiate with confidence 
  • Avoid conflicts in family business transfers and sales 
  • Understand how to manage your assets post-sale

Who should attend

  • SME owners looking to transfer or sell their company – either in the long or short term
  • Family business owners who want to prepare for succession – or the next step

Faculty

Mathieu Luypaert

Mathieu Luypaert

Professor of Corporate Finance

Mathieu Luypaert explains how insights into financial figures and decisions can lead to value creation.