IPM Ventures

Buying or Selling a Business

The most valuable assets of every business are its name and reputation, its technical and product know-how, its staff and customers. Accountants call this goodwill, and intangible assets when shown on the balance sheet are quickly discounted by accountants and bankers alike. How can this be in the age of the knowledge economy and when there are such spectacular success stories?

Consider how valuable brands like Manchester United, Virgin, and Formula 1 are today, or designs like Chris Dyson’s vacuum cleaner. Patents now extend to software and not just mechanical inventions, and designers can register their designs in just the same way as you can register a patent or a trade-mark. Publishers build valuable copyright portfolios, and the value of on-line businesses reside in their database rights.

  • Does the business legally own its intangible assets?
  • Are appropriate contracts in place with suppliers, customers, key staff and consultants?
  • How do you value the intangible assets of the business and realise that value as a seller?
  • How do you integrate an acquisition and ensure key know-how is retained?

Our modular based risk assessment and management tools include:

  • IPR and business valuations – valuation of both goodwill and intellectual capital assets of a business for the purposes of a sale, flotation, fund-raising, joint ventures, management share options, licensing, or tax.
  • Knowledge Management Review – a practical holistic review of how an organisation manages its knowledge based assets including its intellectual property rights and intangible assets. This includes a risk-based audit to review the legal status of Rights such as trade marks, copyright, designs and patents held by an organisation, and to identify areas of risk.