Preparing to acquire - some practical steps

Advance preparation is key to a successful M&A transaction. We share our thoughts on some of the practical steps that should be undertaken when preparing to acquire.   

Find out about the "other side"

Learn what you can about the other side and consider paying an early courtesy visit on the lead counsel of the other side's legal team.

Culture and language

The buyer team should identify or recruit one or more individuals well-versed in the language and culture of the target and seller. Reliable translation agencies should be identified and terms agreed. It will pay off to do some homework on cultural differences, on such issues as:

  • Salutations and forms of address.
  • Body language, hand shaking, bowing, and eye contact.
  • In choice of negotiators, relevance of gender, age, and corporate seniority.
  • In negotiation style, outcome versus relationship building.
  • Attitudes to timetable and tempo.
  • "Face".
  • Propensity to take risks.
  • Group versus individual decision-making. 

Prepare the client

Unless your clients are experienced in such transac­tions, hold a workshop with key client personnel to prepare them for the highs and lows, delays and likely sticking points of the impending process.

This insight formed part of a larger article on "Structuring and managing cross-border private acquisitions", published in Practical Law.

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