About the Author
In a career spanning 25 years, Les Nemethy has been involved in the sale of hundreds of businesses, large and small, in more than 40 countries. He is the founder and CEO of Euro-Phoenix Financial Advisors Ltd (www.europhoenix.com) – a leading corporate finance house in the field of emerging markets in Central Europe specialising in helping owners of mid-sized enterprises sell their companies. Nemethy has distilled decades of experience into this very readable book, aimed at assisting business owners first to plan for their business exit, and then to manage the exit process.
Nemethy has seen the process of buying and selling companies from just about every perspective – buyer, seller, financial advisor, lawyer, and banker. After obtaining degrees in economics, law, international relations, and business administration from leading Canadian universities, Nemethy worked with a major Canadian law firm, McMillan Binch, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1984. He then worked for the Canadian investment bank, McLeod Young Weir (today ScotiaMcLeod). His career took an eclectic turn in early 1992, when he was named head of the Transactions Department of the Hungarian Privatization Agency. Leading a team of 150 professional staff, Nemethy contributed to the ramping up of the privatisation programme, with over 6000 companies sold during his tenure. He led the privatisation of the telecom incumbent, of gas distribution companies, and numerous breweries, hotels, cement companies, etc. He also led a number of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on the Budapest Stock Exchange.
Nemethy moved from Hungary to Washington DC in July 1993, where he worked with the World Bank, helping governments in 23 countries privatise companies and attract investment. For example, he helped the Kuwait Investment Authority devise a programme to sell approximately US$6 billion of assets on the Kuwait Stock Exchange; he advised the governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka, and Albania on managing their national privatisation programmes; and he was part of a team assisting the Russian Privatization Centre with a $277 million loan.
In 1997, Nemethy became CEO of MaTel, the second-largest telecom operator in Hungary (today Invitel). In this capacity, he also worked on a number of acquisitions, before founding Euro-Phoenix in 2000. Currently based in Budapest, Hungary, Nemethy lectures frequently and has taught courses in universities from Georgetown University to the Central European University, mostly on the subject of negotiations. He is a former President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Budapest, and his incisive commentaries on Central European finance and business issues regularly feature in the regional and international press.