Blog – February 2020

Negotiating an Exit

Well the UK has now officially left the European Union but negotiations are far from over. Whilst a few marked our departure with celebrations, for most it passed largely unnoticed – which is unsurprising since we are, until 31 December 2020, effectively operating as if we were still an EU member.

As practitioners of negotiation we have watched with interest as the UK and EU have argued over the last 3 years. When it comes to negotiation, I am continually reminded of just how essential it is to develop your BATNA (Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement). What does this mean? BATNA is the option you are left with if you cannot reach an agreement. Perversely, the stronger the alternatives to a deal, the better your negotiating position.

This certainly applies when selling your technology business. With many elements of sale preparation, it is important to have the evidence to convince a potential purchaser. If you are already looking a little haggard and working all hours, then it would appear unlikely that you are actually happy to continue as is. Conversely, if you’ve got a good team in place and are just applying a gentle nudge on the tiller it will present a much more convincing case to a potential acquirer. The happier you are to continue running the business, with confidence about future growth, the more attractive it will be to others.