Commercial Due Diligence for Buying and Selling Companies

15 videos – 5 hours 14 minutes

Due diligence can never eliminate risk but, methodically undertaken, it will reduce the level of surprise post acquisition. This course explains the objectives and procedures of a thorough due diligence investigation relating to the acquisition of companies and businesses.

Practical advice is given on the fundamental principles, techniques and procedures of a due diligence exercise and on the different objectives in the due diligence process, covering commercial, financial and legal due diligence and also the more specialised areas of investigation.

The roles and obligations of the financial advisers, reporting accountants and solicitors involved in a due diligence investigation are separately examined with emphasis on examples of problems that might arise as a result of inadequacies in the extent of the due diligence process.

Commercial Due Diligence for Buying and Selling Companies

Full list of videos for this course

  • Video 01: Introduction – Background
  • Video 02: Application of Due Diligence – When And How Much?
  • Video 03: Initial Evaluation of the Target – What Approach?
  • Video 04: Warranties or Due Diligence? – Why Both Are Essential
  • Video 05: Personnel & Organisation – Core Due Diligence Team
  • Video 06: Commercial Due Diligence – General Considerations & Objectives
  • Video 07: Commercial Due Diligence – The Target’s Ability to Compete
  • Video 08: Commercial Due Diligence – Analyse The Operational Risk
  • Video 09: Commercial Due Diligence – Test The Results
  • Video 10: Legal Due Diligence – Lawyers’ Responsibilities
  • Video 11: Financial Due Diligence – Commercial Objectives
  • Video 12: Financial Due Diligence – Assess The Culture
  • Video 13: Financial Due Diligence – Indicators of Potential Fraud
  • Video 14: Specialist Due Diligence – Overview
  • Video 15: Financial Due Diligence – Accountant’s Report

Commercial Due Diligence for Buying and Selling Companies

Course Outline

  • Prepare for Success

    • Overall Objective – assess the nature of the transaction
    • When Should Due Diligence Start and End? – a continuous process
    • When, Why, How and Where is Due Diligence Applied? – each case is uniquely different
    • Preserve Shareholder Value – most acquisitions destroy shareholder value
    • Assess Material and Probable Risk – residual risk will remain but surprise can be reduced
    • Interaction between Due Diligence and Warranties – establish a reasonable balance
    • The Core Due Diligence Team – financial advisers, reporting accountants and solicitors
    • Focus on important issues – material and probable risk
  • The Purpose of Commercial Due Diligence

    • What is Commercial Due Diligence? – kick the tyres, count the beans, look for skeletons
    • Evaluate the Opportunity – is it worth the effort?
    • Investigate Three Specific Risk Areas – sector, competition, management
    • Look Below the Radar – customers, suppliers, competitors, employees
    • What is the Industry Structure? – competitive activity, barriers to entry
    • Analyse Commercial Risks – operating cycle, routine and non-routine threats
    • Test the Forecast – supply chain analysis, industry life cycle, economic cycle
    • Sensitivity Analysis – what could go wrong and what might go right?
  • The Result Legal Due Diligence

    • Insist on Senior Legal Input – intelligent questions reveal unsatisfactory answers
    • Financial and Commercial Operations – the nature of the business, its assets and liabilities
    • Transitional Support – is it required post acquisition?
    • Litigation Analysis – assess the present position and look for clouds on the horizon
    • Compliance Review – does the target operate within the law?
    • Personnel and Employment – is it likely that anyone will cause problems?
    • General Housekeeping – no company is perfect: suggested improvements
  • The Objective of Financial Due Diligence

    • Plan the Work – financial due diligence is not an audit
    • Project the Maintainable Profits to Assess Value – growth rate, risk profile, multiples
    • Investigate Assets and Liabilities – are the assumptions of commercial due diligence true?
    • Check the Adequacy of Working Capital – has it been depleted prior to sale?
    • Investigate Capex and Depreciation – review the asset replenishment cycle
    • Examine Budget Procedures – test the track record
    • Assess the Internal Controls – how are risks identified, analysed and monitored?
    • Analyse Cash/Revenue Movements – reconcile profits to cash
    • Identify Indicators of Potential Fraud – management, accounts, industry
    • Structure the Content of the Due Diligence Report – match it to the client’s requirements
  • Further Investigations

    • Environmental Due Diligence – avoid inheriting unlimited liabilities
    • IPR and Technology Due Diligence – a frequent last minute deal breaker