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M&A: Considerations for Outside Advisors

Having someone to look at an M&A transaction from a distance, to consider that situation from a detached outsider perspective, can often be the greatest benefit to a person who is buried in the minutiae of day-to-day operations and worries. In other words, an outsider just may be the help an M&A deal-maker needs to successfully complete deals.

Both Buyer and Seller need the following advisors:

  • An attorney to draft (or edit/revise) the purchase agreement (assuming you don’t have an in-house lawyer qualified to do so; see the sidebar “Do you need an in-house lawyer?” for more)

  • Accountants to audit or review the numbers and more importantly, to interact with the other side’s accountants

  • Advisors to negotiate the deal and to make sure it gets across the finish line. These folks are usually called investment bankers.

And depending on the complexity of the deal and other factors, Buyer may also need marketing, environmental, and perhaps IT/database consultants.

Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when hiring outside advisors:

  • Don’t be afraid to manage your outside advisors and hold them accountable. At the same time, let them do what you hired them for. They’re deal experts.

  • Find the right-sized firm for your company. M&A transaction experience is a must, of course, but an advisor should specialize in working with companies the size of your company.

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