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.

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.

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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