HUGHESVILLE - Gary Papay helps private business owners through some of the most emotional times of their lives - buying and selling their businesses.
Papay is a professional mergers and acquisitions intermediary with CK Business Consultants located at the Silk Mill Complex at 114 S. Railroad St.
"Most business owners have the majority of their wealth tied up in their company," Papay said.
ANNA TELATOVICH/ Sun-Gazette
Gary Papay helps private business owners sell their companies to realize their financial independence. He studies the market and the businesses history to help owners sell their companies for as much as possible.
He added that the only way for most business owners to become financially independent is by selling their company.
Papay works with buyers and sellers of privately owned companies to sell their business at the right time for the maximum value.
"Timing is everything when you sell a business," he said.
He also does appraisal work to give business owners "an idea of their companies worth and what's best to do with it," Papay said, adding that most people "have no idea" what their businesses are worth.
Meanwhile, some other business owners have "sky high expectations" of what their business may be worth.
He has worked with about 6,000 clients primarily in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York State many of whom are in the petroleum and propane business.
Papay himself has more than 32 years experience in the sale and transfer of petroleum and propane related mid-market companies.
"We do a lot of sales with some of of the biggest business in the country," he said.
"I like to say we retire millionaires and many times we do," Papay said.
He added that the most exciting part of his job is helping family business owners realize their financial independence.
Papay spoke of a man who owned a convenience store in Indiana who built it up over the years.
When he finally met the business owner at the closing, Papay said he'd "never forget the look on his face" when the man said he was taking his grandchildren to Disney World.
The process of selling a business may take anywhere between six and 18 months, Papay said, with "quite a process" at closing.
When a business owner first contacts Papay, he gathers information on the company's revenues and business history to see is the business is able to sold.
"Sometimes they're better off closing the doors and liquidating," he said. "If a business is just not salable, it's just disappointing."
Papay said the "most difficult" part of his job occurs when families struggle and argue about what to do with the business.