When deciding to sell your company, timing is everything.

Three top executives, who all recently sold their respective companies, shared their stories at the 2011 FN CEO Summit in Miami on Friday. Tina Aldatz, Founder and President of Foot Petals, who recently sold to R.G. Barry Corp., Sam Edelman, President of the Sam Edelman Division at Brown Shoe Co. and Jim Tarica, Co-President of Footwear for LF USA covered topics ranging from reasons for the sale, to finding the right partner and adjusting to the change of reporting to someone else.

Edelman discussed that for him and his wife Libby, it was important to have a succession plan in place. "I wanted to see the brand have a real future," he said. "When I was introduced to Brown Shoe it was the perfect match at the time."

Meanwhile Aldatz said it was important for her to find a partner that allowed for her to still be heavily involved in the business. "My objective was not just to sell, but to create a strategic partnership, I wanted to do something that would leave a legacy," she said, adding that after 10 years in business it has been a rocky transition at times. "I'm a very dominant personality and there is a whole language barrier when it comes to working with a corporation, but it's exciting because I'm learning."

And Tarica said that while the deal was four years in the making, the timing finally felt right when LF discussed the option to keep all of their employees and asked both Tarica and his brother Larry Tarica to stay on board for another 10 years. "[The company] made it very clear they wanted Larry and I [involved]," he said. "We gave him our vision of where the company was going and he agreed."

Karen Goodman, Managing Director at Financo Inc. also weighed in on the M & A activity within the industry and the importance of timing. "You have to be emotionally ready," she said.

Posted by Footwear News, The Editorial Staff