Deals: Getting the knowledge is vital

By Jenny Burke, corporate team solicitor at Forbes.

Jenny Burke ForbesWhen buying or selling a business it is imperative to obtain high quality professional advice – and to ensure your advisers have sufficient knowledge of your industry to effectively represent your interests.

The earlier you engage your professional team, including a solicitor and corporate financier, the more beneficial the relationship will be.

Your professional team will be positioned to guide you on strategically planning the acquisition, determining suitable acquisition criteria and candidates, checking feasibility, undertaking early and focused financial, legal and operational due diligence, preparing transactional documentation and carefully negotiating your position.

An adviser who specialises in your industry will be able to guide you through any known pitfalls, of which you may otherwise not have been aware, and ensure due diligence is targeted and bespoke.

The adviser should also ensure that costs don’t escalate and all relevant information is produced. In addition, advisers are likely to have useful contacts in the industry, for example specialist investors and bankers who can provide inventive finance solutions for the transaction. Acquisitions involve risk, time and cost.

The consequences can be catastrophic if the wrong target is selected, or the transaction is not effectively managed. Engaging the right professional team can greatly minimise the risks and means you are free to get on with the important task of running the business, knowing that your needs are taken care of.