M&A Forum will explore options for business owners


Company owners interested in learning more about the process and prospects of buying or selling businesses are invited to attend the annual BizTimes M&A Forum, which will take place Friday, May 3, at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The theme for this year’s event is, “Mergers & Acquisitions: Buyers & Sellers – Where Do We Go From Here?”

The M&A Forum will examine different business exit strategies, including recapitalizations, employee stock ownership programs, management buyouts, sales to private equity firms, mergers with strategic partners and more.

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The keynote speaker of the M&A Forum will be Howard Lanser, head of the M&A Debt Advisory practice and managing director of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s Mergers & Acquisitions group. Lanser serves as a senior M&A execution specialist, with more than 15 years of experience originating and executing financing and M&A advisory assignments in a diverse range of industry sectors, including industrial, consumer products, for-profit education, corporate training, human capital services, and health care services. His clients have ranged from public multinational corporations to private, growth-oriented middle-market firms.

The M&A Forum also will feature a panel discussion about best practices and emerging trends in the market.

The featured panelists will include: Robert Arzbaecher, chairman, president and CEO of Menomonee Falls-based Actuant Corp.; Michael Hansen, founder of Milwaukee-based Jacsten Holdings LLC; Steve Balistreri, managing director of Mequon-based Blackthorne Partners LTD; and Vince Shiely, partner at Milwaukee-based Lubar & Company.

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Additional panelists will include experts from Bank Mutual Corp., Schenck M&A Solutions and Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.

The panelists will discuss a variety of topics, including: how to respond to the pre-emptive buyer; lessons learned from buyers and sellers; strategies for maximizing value; and updates on M&A trends and current multiples.

The panel discussion will be followed by four breakout sessions. The topics of the breakout sessions will include:

How to maximize value for your business for a sale.
Structuring and financing the transaction to minimize tax and maximize cash flow.
How to respond to or be the pre-emptive buyer?
What’s your exit plan? Strategies in navigating the intersection of business planning and succession planning.

For more information and to register for the event, as well as view a video of highlights from last year’s M&A Forum, visit www.biztimes.com/maforum.

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