The Tough Process of Due Diligence

There is a great post over at Synergy Fest about due diligence. It includes this quote that is all too true.

Although big companies often make a show of carefully analyzing the size and scope of a deal in question—assembling large teams and spending pots of money—the fact is, the momentum of the transaction is hard to resist once senior management has the target in its sights. Due diligence all too often becomes an exercise in verifying the target's financial statements rather than conducting a fair analysis of the deal's strategic logic and the acquirer's ability to realize value from it.

Believe me, it is TOUGH, to walk away from a business or acquisition when it doesn't quite meet your standards. It is especially tough if you have already fallen in love with the business concept. Sometimes there is a feeling that you can fix it or it doesn't matter that much, but you can't get sucked into that. If you expect a certain financial return on your investment, you won't get it with a sub-par company (unless you are paying sub-par price). So I think Jeff gives some great advice to cap off his post:

As I have indicated in my earlier related posts, in my opinion it is very important to heave a diverse and talented set of individuals with an ability and willingness to challenge each other on the merits of their analysis and an aggressive but disciplined senior management team that is willing to not "pull the trigger" when the deal gets to rich.

Well said, and very true for any good management team.

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