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Apples and Acquisitions

Oct 16, 2017
By: Michael D. Carlson
Financial Institutions

As a child I had the good fortune to be raised on an apple orchard. To this day my parents still own and operate a 6,000+-tree orchard in central Minnesota. As a result, fall is always a special time of year for my family. It’s finally harvest time. All the hard work put in from the first day the tree blooms to the day the apple is picked is worth it for the moment when you bite into that crisp, sweet, juicy Honeycrisp or SweeTango apple (both of which were developed at the University of Minnesota). 

Knowing just when to start picking is a delicate balancing act. Of course you don’t want to pick before the apples are ripe, and if picked too late, they may become soft. Sprinkle in a dose of Mother Nature, and you are always racing to get the picking done before temperatures drop and the apples freeze. Ultimately, you need to have the manpower in place to move quickly and get the crop picked just at the right time.

Today, I am often reminded of how the apple harvest relates to what we see with mergers and acquisitions. Just like timing is everything for apple picking, timing is equally important with a merger or acquisition. Unlike an apple, though, with its red skin as an indicator, it may be hard to determine when to buy, sell, or merge.

If you are unsure where you sit in the acquisition world today, have you done a self-assessment? Do you have a management and shareholder succession plan? What returns or liquidity needs do your shareholders desire? How much capital do you need to do an acquisition? What will happen to bank prices? Answers to these questions and more will help you understand when is the right time to buy, sell, or merge. As always, if you have any questions on mergers or acquisitions, please contact your Wipfli relationship executive or email us at WipfliFIpractice@wipfli.com.

Enjoy your locally grown apples this fall!


Michael D. Carlson , CPA, CGMA
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