Andrew Bartels, President & CEO of Medical Packaging Inc., had been working toward a sale of his family’s business for many years. Though he did a great deal of research and preparation to get ready for a deal, the pandemic hit before the sale to The Zabel Companies could close. Fortunately, Bartels was prepared.

Bartels had read a number of books on how to exit the business and worked with his adviser on some strategies to get even more prepared. He was on a three-year timeline to take the company to market.

By January 2020, there was a letter of intent. Due diligence started in March 2020. Then the pandemic hit, which Bartels thought meant the end of his deal.

“This is this is done,” Bartels says. “We're never going to move forward. I really wasn't sure what to think at time.”

So Bartels, his adviser and the buyer had a very honest, heart-to-heart discussion in early April to discuss the constraints of the pandemic and how everybody felt about moving forward. Ultimately they all decided to forge on with due diligence with ongoing check-ins. It was a very disciplined process because of his preparedness. That ultimately helped when there were bumps in the road caused by COVID.

Additionally, through the books he read, Bartels says he learned the importance of thinking about what you ultimately want out of the transaction.

“Immediately, people think it's solely about the purchase price,” Bartels says. “But it can be much more than that. For me, personally, my wish list contained buyer persona requirements such as ensuring the buyer was in alignment with our company's core values. It also contained items dependent on me, personally, with my future role in the company. And lastly, it included some wishes around my current employees and ensuring there wouldn't be any major changes to the org structure at the start.”

Bartels leveraged his advisers to help him translate those wishes into talking points he could share with potential buyers, something he says was key early on in the process.

Bartels along with McCormack Capital Advisors’ Bob McCormack, and Herbein + Company’s Tom Bakaitus, Jr. and Beth Bershok, break down the deal and the obstacles sellers faced during COVID to get transaction done. Hit play on the video above to catch the full conversation.