Buy-Side Representation and Process

Chapter 3 provides an overview of corporate development and the buy-side from the perspective of the strategic buyer. While conceptually similar, this chapter looks at the buy-side through the lens of M&A advisors and emphasizes certain details relevant to them. We will use Figure 7.1 as the baseline process for this chapter, keeping in mind that there are many variations. This chapter is meant to augment the content of Chapter 3.


As introduced earlier in this handbook, an acquisition is ideally the result of choosing the best alternative to accomplish a strategic objective or fill a gap; in reality it can meet a number of goals if approached and executed as part of a long-term growth strategy. The maturity of the strategy of the client company, the stage of the business, and where the M&A advisor enters the process with the client somewhat dictate the scope of the M&A advisor's engagement and what needs to be done.

To be effective in leading a search process, there needs to be a defined set of criteria that can be agreed on by management, the board, and the acquisition team. There are many ways of getting to this set of criteria, keeping in mind that the following are typically part of the planning and preparation:

  • Clearly understand the current shareholder objectives.
  • Define the future market position of the client company (3-to-5-year horizon).
  • Develop a consensus around the current status and position of the client company. ...

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