Episode 24 : How to Buy a Business




Karim Abouzeid is the president and owner of Magnor, a manufacturer and designer of water treatment equipment company. With the plan in mind to eventually own a business, Karim studied accounting and started his career as a CPA. Luckily enough, he got to work in the mergers and acquisitions department at one of the big fours, which taught him everything about the path he would then chose to take to achieve his dream: buying a business. But buying a business ain’t no easy task! This is the story of how Karim made it happen.

Karim’s Growth Story Book Title: 

“How I turned my business from 0 to 3 million dollars overnight: a succession story”

From his professional background and personal experience, Karim is very much interested in business succession and acquisition!

What you’ll learn:

  • Thanks to a combination of circumstances, Karim had the chance to become CFO, at 25 years old, of a company he had been working on a succession deal with for over a year. When the deal eventually went down, Karim joined the company instead and learned about entrepreneurship, finances, operations, marketing this way.
  • Karim looked at 81 businesses before finding the one he would buy. He was looking for a niche manufacturing type of business. He made five offers and worked 6 months on a deal that fell through before finally meeting with Magnor’s former owner in September 2014.
  • When it was time to choose which study program to go into after high school, Karim hesitated between business or theatre, as he had done 10 years of theatre younger. He chose business, more precisely, accounting.

Notable quotes:

  • “I was looking at deals and entrepreneurs doing great things with their businesses, and thought, I think I can do that. But I also saw businesses being acquired by others, and thought I can do that too! This is really when I got the aha moment of what it is I wanted to do: buy a business.” – Karim about how working in merging and acquisitions got him to see clearly his path to entrepreneurship.
  • “Once I took that leap, wow, how free I felt. I really felt it, it was my journey now. – Karim on how it was very stressful to cut the security cord and quit his job, but how once it was done it was also very reassuring that it was the right decision.
  • “It’s tough to find a project if you don’t have money, but it’s tough to find money when you don’t have a project! So where do you start? – Karim on how he ended up starting with the money by having his potential investors sign letters of intent.

Show notes: 

03:10 – Karim is president of Magnor, a manufacturer and designer of water treatment equipment company. They serve municipalities and industries, a specialty that they have is underground water treatment.

06:00 – Karim grew up in L’Île-Bizard on the West Island of Montreal. His father was an entrepreneur, he had a restaurant in Ahunstic.

13:55 – Karim studied accounting at HEC Montreal because he thought it was the best background for management or entrepreneurship.

17:00 – Karim’s first job out of school was at Ernst and Young.

36:00 – Karim mentions the CTEQ Centre de Transfert d’Entreprise as a resource to penetrate the entrepreneur network.

53:25 – Visit magnor.ca to find out more.