Nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn age 65 every day. Many are in great health and look forward to a vibrant future. Some will continue to work, energetically leading their companies into the coming years. Others would like to retire but hesitate to sell their companies when the economy is good and business is thriving.
What are the options for owners who want to retire while continuing to own the business? Here are some possibilities:
Consider a leveraged recap. This refinancing option involves partnering with a private equity firm to invest in the company, replacing the company’s equity with a debt package secured by the future cash flows of the business.
The cash that the recap generates can be used to redeem owner shares, allowing him or her to unlock the illiquid value in the business while maintaining significant ownership.
Find a future buyer. Another option is to hire a highly qualified manager who will want to buy the company in a few years.
Finding the right person can be challenging, but the arrangement can be rewarding for both parties. The owner gets to lighten his or her load, while the new manager gets to know the ins and outs of the business and has the responsibility of running it daily. Eventually, ownership is transferred via a structured buyout.
Hire a temporary executive. Some owners like the idea of keeping the company for a few more years until the time is right to sell or the next generation is ready to take over. This involves hiring a temporary executive to “babysit” the business, with active oversight from the owner.