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Business Owners:  Growth and Harvest Opportunities


Liquidating a business

Small business owners confront complex issues when faced with fully or partially liquidating to diversify their portfolio or provide cash to minority shareholders. Additional complexities, like provisions for estate taxes, arise when the business is family owned. Common issues include:

  • Balancing the ability to grow with the ability to maintain ownership by taking on debt and/or equity financing
  • Successors to the business have different interests - grow, liquidate, preserve, pay dividends
  • Heir to running the business lacks experience, business acumen and credibility with other managers
  • A desire to minimize taxes on cash pay-out
  • Risking job security for long-time employees and management

Financially, there are many options. Often the least valuable and most pursued is to keep the business going as is and make provisions in a will. This option yields maximum taxes without any portfolio diversity and without resolving heirs' different interests in the business. Many investment banking firms can provide guidance on the financial alternatives. However, most challenging is screening these financial alternatives with respect to an individual growth and harvest strategy that reflects the marketplace in which the company operates.

CERES offers market focused strategic planning and investment banking services to small businesses serving the photonics industry and vertical market segments enabled by photonics - such as life sciences, medical devices, medical and environmental diagnostics, industrial manufacturing, semiconductor equipment, information display and printing, lighting, energy, telecommunications, security and defense.


  • Advisory representation in the complete or partial sale of the company
  • Valuation of privately held companies in conjunction with a possible sale
  • Management consulting services to re-position company or product line for maximum bottom line in preparation for sale
  • Marketing services to position the company and its products for maximum valuation
  • Precisely targeted marketing communications to reach selective acquirers while maintaining confidentiality
  • Recapitalization as an alternative to a sale
  • Management buyouts to enable management to purchase the company from existing ownership
  • Financing to provide senior debt and mezzanine financing in conjunction with a management buy out


Inorganic growth through acquisition

An attractive alternative to organic growth when cash, human resources, capacity and technical or marketing expertise are scarce is inorganic growth through strategic acquisition. The optics and laser industry and many of the markets it serves are highly fragmented consisting of tens of companies addressing similar market segments. The environment continues to be ripe for small and large business alike to grow inorganically through acquisition.


  • Advisory representation in the creation and execution of an acquisition strategy
  • Focused search representing the acquirer
  • Valuation of privately held companies including their intellectual property in conjunction with a possible acquisition
  • Strategic marketing and financial services to validate a vertical or horizontal acquisition
  • Marketing services to position the company and its products and services for financing
  • Precisely targeted marketing communications to reach selective sellers while maintaining confidentiality
  • Management consulting services to re-position and integrate acquisition for maximum bottom line
  • Financing to provide senior debt and mezzanine financing in conjunction with an acquisition