Key success factors of a disposal process

With the increasing commoditisation of M&A advisory services the “art of the deal” has greatly deteriorated. Many service providers offer no more than process management with minimal proprietary initiative and decision making.

Proper M&A advice starts with an intelligent, thought through preparation of the disposal.  The question whether an asset is actually ready for sale is frequently forgotten. Typical carve-out issues like intercompany dependencies, reversing tax-optimised structures, solid stand-alone financial numbers and the decoupling of IT services are often inadequately considered.

The asset for sale must be measured against likely buyer interest and positioned accordingly, probably one of the hardest things to do in advance. Once the buyer approaches are made, there is no going back on the chosen route.

The demand on the seller’s resources during an M&A process can be exacting necessitating realistic and early project planning. Tricky due diligence issues should be identified and solved in advance.

The best deal can only be achieved by a healthy level of bidding competition. it requires great skill by the M&A adviser to manage both timing and deal parameters between various potential buyers, each with different motivations.

Last, but not least, a deal is done and dusted with the Closing of the transaction, not before. Thorough and relentless follow up of all details is essential for success.

Likewise, the same considerations have to be given to acquisitions.