What happens to family members that are employed in the business before I sell?
Employment, consulting and other arrangements are considered on a case-by-case basis. During our discussions, as we get to know you and your family, we will jointly consider how employment (if applicable) for each member of your family will be handled.
What happens to me or my family who live in the funeral home?
Consideration of how to manage a transition will be discussed early in the transaction process.
What should I expect from the process?
The initial introductions are informal and will usually involve a telephone conversation with one of our Corporate Development team members. If through the conversation, there is an interest by both parties to continue discussions, then the discussions may involve a face-to-face visit by one or more of our team members with the objective of first getting to know you and for you to have the opportunity to learn more about Carriage Services and what we stand for.
Do I need an advisor?
The simple answer is no. However, as discussions develop into formulating an offer and subsequent purchase agreement, it would be appropriate to have an attorney and/or other trusted advisor review the documents and help you navigate sometimes complex series of considerations and disclosures that are part of every transaction.
How much of my time is required?
- During the initial discussions with Carriage
Your time requirements are minimal and usually include only the telephone conversations and face to face discussions that would occur as we get to know you and your family. Typically the time commitment would amount to a few hours spread over a period of weeks.
- During the initial due diligence
Your time commitment is dependent upon how much or how little you include others such as trusted employees or advisors in collecting information necessary for due diligence. If your records and information are well organized and readily available, your time commitment would only involve the time it would take you to collect the documents or information and photocopy, scan, or prepare the information for transfer to one of our team members for review.
- During the transaction documentation
At this stage, you would typically have an advisor (attorney and possibly an accountant) handling most of the interaction. Your time commitment will be shared between discussions between our team and yourself and between you and your advisor to discuss decisions, concerns, or issues.
- Post transaction
Your time commitment will be minimal and usually is related to finalizing certain post-closing activities such as finalizing certain documents. In certain cases, your assistance with transition activities or knowledge will be necessary immediately following the closing and may last for a few weeks. The level of commitment in terms of hours would be dependent upon considerations specific to your transaction.
Is my business large enough for Carriage to be interested?
A simple brief confidential discussion with one of our team members will allow us to quickly determine if your business is the right fit for Carriage. There are several considerations when determining the fit of a business that are not limited to just funeral call volume or other financial metrics. Certain opportunities may be a good fit because of their geographic location and have little to do with case counts.
How long does a transaction take (from start to finish)?
There are several measures that one can make in determining the time line of a transaction. We are interested in moving as quickly through the process as practical and will manage the process on a case by case basis. However, should you be motivated to sell your business, with you, your family, and/or your partners ready to commit to a sale, we can arrive at a Letter of Intent (LOI) in a matter of weeks (contingent upon the speed at which you provide the necessary due diligence material). From the LOI to the close of a transaction, would take 8-12 weeks, assuming a reasonable turnaround time for your advisor(s) to respond and agree upon the purchase agreement and other legal documents that are necessary for the transaction.
Do I have to tell my employees that I am talking to you?
This is a decision that you must make. However, if we agree upon a Letter of Intent, and the process to document and close the transaction begins, it will be necessary at a certain point to discuss your decision to sell your business with your employees. As part of the transaction, in many jurisdictions, licensing application and approval will need to occur PRIOR to the transaction close. As a result, public notice of the application to the funeral board or governing body regulating funeral or cemetery licensure in your State will occur and the sale may become public. As well, in order to assure as seamless an integration as possible, certain Carriage Service support team members will need to gain access to your facility prior to the close of the transaction to prepare for the transition. An example of the activities Carriage would need to perform include information technology assessments and installation of wiring and other equipment. Last, as part of the transaction process, certain inspections, surveys, and other activities will need to be performed as part of the diligence and documentation for the transaction. Often these activities raise questions with staff as to why inspectors or other engineers are on the property.
Will I/my family members keep our jobs when the transaction closes?
Employment matters will be discussed early in the process and will be addressed on a case by case basis.
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