Dave Lukas Chats with Carl Allen
216: Secrets and Lessons from the World’s Most Prolific Dealmaker, Carl Allen
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Carl Allen. Carl is an entrepreneur, investor, and one of the most prolific corporate dealmakers in the world. Over his 30-year career, he’s done over 330 deals worth over $48 billion.
Carl has analyzed thousands of deals, large and small, across dozens of countries and nearly every business sector. And because of his experience, he’s brought in to advise some of the world’s largest corporations on investments and acquisitions.
Recently, he’s launched a new venture, the Dealmaker Wealth Society, a platform that teaches people how to use Allen’s techniques to purchase and sell businesses.
Needless to say, Allen is the go to for how to successfully buy or sell a business and he was the perfect guy to come on and discuss the topic.
Carl started back in 1992 when started working for the investment banking arm at Bank of America. He was helping to buy and sell businesses for the Fortune 100. He then had a brief stint in private equity investing in tech company that was bought by HP. As part of the deal, he became one of the M&A directors at HP buying and selling businesses all over the world. He spent most of his time on the road, granted he loved it, but he spent a lot of time away from his wife.
In February 2008, he life completely changed in the matter of 24 hours. He was in Moscow doing a deal for HP in a boardroom and keeps getting calls from his wife. He finally stopped and answered the phone and his wife told he needed to be back to the UK immediately because she had gone into labor 4 weeks early with their son. He had his wallet, phone, and passport on him and ran out of the building leaving his luggage behind, sped to the airport, and when he landed in the UK, he had a police escort waiting for him – and he got into the room 5 minutes before his son was born.
When he cradled his son in his arms, looking at him, he burst into tears. He knew he couldn’t do it anymore. He called up his boss at HP and quit leaving behind millions in stock and bonuses and decided to retire.
3 weeks later, he was bored beyond belief and knew he had to do something. He sat down with his wife and she helped him understand that he could be a local business broker.
Within a few days, he had his first deal. He found the buyer; things went on for about 3-4 months. The night before the deal was to close, he got a call from the seller, who he represented – they had decided to pull the deal.
He left immediately to meet with the owners and got to the business where they had assembled all the employees. They told him the buyer was going to fire the employees and essentially gut the business and they could not allow that.
In a half-crazy moment, Carl looked at them and said, “I will buy the business.”
At the 10:50 mark, Carl goes on to tell the story of how bought the business and ran it with no experience.
What makes a great deal for both the buyer and seller?
How does someone go about finding a deal?
What are the most important factors to look at when looking to buy a business? What do you need to do if you are looking to sell?
What is the blueprint to buy a profitable business in 99 days or less?
What are some of the things to do in the first 100 days?
Purchasing a business with no experience or no money – any tips?
Where are you seeing the opportunities in right now? What is the trend?
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