M&A Straight Talk with FON’s Phil Binkow

Phil Binkow

M&A expert Phil Binkow shares some quick insights into successfully navigating the process.

Do you think about maybe selling your media company some day? Since the very beginning, during that late-nigh start-up phase, you’ve been actively building value in your company. But realizing the maximum value from the sale of your media business can make you fraught with doubt and uncertainty.

So what is the best strategy for a successful sale at the best price?  It’s early preparation.

Long before you’re ready to sit down with a broker, much less a buyer, there are steps prospective sellers should undertake to drive a successful sale:

  1. Research on prospective buyers
  2. Developing strategies to navigate due diligence
  3. Undertaking the right assessments of earn-out potential and earn-out risk
  4. Having the right data on your audience

And much, much more.

We recently caught up with Phil Binkow, CEO of Financial Operations Networks to get some of his quick insights into the tricky M&A process:

NMHQ: Early preparation is key to realizing the maximum value of a media business. What is the one most important thing niche publishers can do to prepare early-on that can really make a difference?  

Phil: “Maintain clarity about your key objectives and how those key objectives can and will be attained.”  

NMHQ: Can you share a quick tip on how to research prospective buyers?

Phil: “Look for qualified companies in your space and adjacent to your space that would view you strategically.”

NMHQ: What are some of the mistakes you’ve seen when a media business is presenting their audience data? Is there specific information that publishers should always know/provide?

Phil: “Lack of preparation and failure to understand the interests of the suitor.  Prepare with advice from experienced buyers and sellers.”

NMHQ: What trends do you see coming on the M&A landscape for media companies?

Phil: “Buyers will continue to become more sophisticated and the abilities to separate the irrelevant from the meaningful will increase in importance to buyers.”


Editor’s note: Learn more from Phil in person at the 2016 Niche CEO Summit in Nashville, Nov. 14-15. He’ll be leading a discussion on The Ant and the Grasshopper: M&A Strategies to Position for Top-Dollar Sale.



More about Phil: As CEO of Financial Operations Networks, Phil Binkow has been instrumental in the building and sales of several publications. He founded The Accounts Payable Network, which became the world’s leading source of accounts payable best practices, training and certification (later acquired by Diversified Business Communications).  Phil played key roles in building sales for Time Sensitive Delivery Guide and its subsequent sale to Pitney Bowes. He also founded and served as CEO of PayTECH, a highly respected electronic payables processing, disbursements and information services provider.


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