A share sale is where the shareholders of a company sell their shares. A share sale can either be a complete sell out or a partial selldown.
A trade sale is where the company sells its business assets. The underlying ownership of the selling entity does not change. Only ownership of the assets being sold changes.
A merger involves two companies combining. Instead of receiving cash, the shareholders in the smaller company (called the “target”) will usually swap their shares for shares in the larger company (the “acquirer”).
Before finding a buyer, it is important that you go through a pre-sale process with both a lawyer and an M&A adviser. That will assist in identifying any issues that could otherwise cause your exit event to become delayed, fall over, cause a poor tax outcome or negatively affect the potential purchase price.