A $30 Million Bird in Hand

A $30 Million Bird in Hand

“Frank Cianciulli built Enunciate Conferencing to $15 million in sales. He was given a really good offer yet wasn’t sure if he should accept it. Then he lost a couple of customers and realized he could lose more customers and accepted the offer,” shares Sam Thompson a Minneapolis business broker and the president of M&A firm Transitions In Business. “An informative podcast on valuing a business and how to get noticed by buyers.”

Before Zoom, when you wanted to meet with a group of people remotely, you used a teleconferencing service. If you lived in Canada during the early 2000s, you probably used one of Frank Cianciulli’s lines.

Cianciulli built Enunciate Conferencing, a telecommunications business, to $15 million in revenue and more than $5 million in profit. The company was booming and doubling every two years, which is why he hesitated at first when Premiere Global made an acquisition offer of $30 million. But when Enunciate ran into a technical glitch causing the loss of a handful of customers, Cianciulli got spooked. He realized he had a bird in the hand and decided to accept the offer from Premier Global.

For Cianciulli, it was the end of an incredible journey from a standing start to an eight-figure exit in six years. This episode is peppered with wisdom, including:

  • How participating in awards can increase your likelihood of getting an acquisition offer.
  • Why minority investors usually value your business lower than a majority acquirer.
  • How Premiere Global used a boozy dinner to lower Cianciulli’s defenses.
  • What it was like for Cianciulli to tell his Dad he had been offered $30 million for his company.
  • Why Cianciulli broke down in tears three months after selling his business.
  • Why Cianciulli says part of him regrets selling.
  • The secret to buying just about any business.

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