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Ensuring the Company’s Longevity by Planning Transfer Financing

Have you properly prepared your succession plan? Did you cover all the bases? Passing the torch to the person who will take over your business is no easy feat.

This transferor’s testimonial reminds us of the importance of having a well-planned succession plan and making sure all the bases are covered.

Sound management, communication and openness to the needs and objectives of all those involved are factors to be taken into consideration when carrying out a business transfer and, for parties concerned, ensuring that the business goes on.

Expect the transfer to take several years

Régis Simard founded Les Forestiers F.A.J. inc. in 1995. His wife, Johanne, is also involved in the company, as secretary-accountant. For several years, they had been thinking of selling the company.

“I didn’t want just anybody to take over the business,” explains Régis. “Keeping it going is important. I’d been talking about this to Jean-Louis for about four or five years. He’s been a key employee for 18 years and is married to my niece.”

An automobile accident at the age of 57 led Régis to initiate the transfer process, which sped things up.

According to the Simards, Jean-Louis has always been a good candidate for succession. He’s resourceful, bold and versatile and he likes the forest. They believe these are essential qualities for the job. To be an owner, you also have to be dedicated. The work is demanding, sometimes you have to be away for several days, and you can be called at any time, day or night.

“These days, work is important, but family and leisure time are just as much. That’s why taking over a business is a decision that has to be made as a couple.”

A succession plan to manage expectations

“The transfer is going well,” Régis maintains. “There are ups and downs. The successor has expectations and, as transferor, I had some as well. With good communication, we can find common ground. This is not the same as a sale. You want the successor to be able to keep the business.”

“Everything is going smoothly,” says Johanne. “There are considerable challenges in this transfer, the successor is our nephew-in-law, we wanted it to go well. Having an external consultant as intermediary to coordinate everything helped. We wanted a win-win for everyone.”

Régis goes on to say, “There are hundreds of ways to transfer a business. For us, it was important that Jean-Louis not be financially overwhelmed, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to continue. We needed sound management and the support of experienced people to find the best plan to ensure the company’s longevity.”

For the future, Régis Simard would like to see the company maintain its industry position while continuing to offer the same quality and expertise that characterized it from the onset.

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