Lots of managers cherish an ambition to own a company one day. A management buy-In (MBI) can make this dream come true. This is when an external party, such as a manager or a management team, buys another company. From manager to company owner is a major and important step and the process is not always simple or straightforward. Marktlink supports ambitious MBI-ers in their preparation and throughout the purchasing process surrounding a management buy-in, so that their vision for the future can become reality.

What is an MBI?

A management buy-In is a form of business acquisition where an external manager takes over a company they were not previously involved in. This could be an individual experienced manager or a full management team, and the current management of a company is replaced by the new owner or owners. An MBI can be done in a single step, when the new owner buys the shares immediately, or step-by-step with the shares sold to the new manager or managers in instalments. With a step-by-step management buy-in, the current management team may stay on for a period of time, and the buyer is not required to pay the full amount immediately. The right strategy for a successful MBI depends on the circumstances and wishes of the purchasing team and the company they want to acquire.

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When is a management buy-in the best option?

A management buy-in could be a great way to buy a company if you:

  • Have a successful track record with an SME
  • Hold a middle or senior management position with a multinational company
  • Have a long-held ambition to lead a company
  • Want to use your knowledge and experience to acquire a company

Not everyone is qualified and ready to acquire a company through a management buy-in: successfully running a company requires the necessary experience, skills, and capital. To help managers achieve their dream of having their own company or take the next step in their career, we help potential buyers throughout their MBI journey, and work closely with them to ensure the correct steps are followed.

The difference between management buy-in and management buy-out

Besides the acquisition process of a management buy-in, there is also company acquisition via management buy-out (MBO). The terms sound much the same but the process is very different. In a management buy-in, an external manager or management team buys the organisation; in a management buy-out the company is bought by its current management team, or part of it. In other words, a buy-in is external and a buy-out is internal to the company, but both cases involve a manager or a management team as the purchaser.

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Advice on your MBI acquisition process

Management buy-in transactions are one of our core activities, so we have a unique understanding of how the process works and what we need to look out for. We would be pleased to support you in the right decision if you are looking for a company to acquire. We will work with you to determine what is feasible and what type of business best suits you and your interests and then approach interesting companies, draw up an MBI financing structure, and support you to bring the entire acquisition project to a successful conclusion.

In recent years, we have supervised a large number of management buy-in transactions and built up a large network of experienced experts as a result. No-one else knows the true meaning of an MBI or the pitfalls and success factors quite like the managers who have already seen their ambitions of running their own business come true. We would be happy to put you in touch with these experts so you can get a good overview of the acquisition process, and our own Marktlink specialists are always here for you with professional advice and personal support.


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