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What Buyers Expect to See in Your Virtual Data Room During an M&A Transaction

    
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Businesses that once relied on rows and rows of filing cabinets to store company documents have now shifted to virtual data rooms, also known as online data rooms. These digital warehouses serve as repositories for storing information and files about an organization: everything from financial statements and lists of company assets to contracts and HR data.

Virtual data rooms are particularly useful for the due diligence process during mergers and acquisitions. Potential M&A buyers want to see that you have all your ducks in a row, investigating and auditing your organization in order to limit the risk of the transaction.

By placing your documents in a centralized repository for easy access, virtual data rooms can significantly speed up the due diligence process. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most important forms and information that you should have in your virtual data room during an M&A transaction.

1. Company overview

For starters, your virtual data room should contain an executive summary of your organization that provides a succinct yet clear overview of the business. This will include information such as the company management, mission, products and services, and distinguishing factors about your business.

2. Financial and tax information

Potential buyers in an M&A transaction must be able to see your financial and tax information in your virtual data room. Some of the documents to include here are:

  • Federal and state tax returns

  • Monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements from at least the past five years

  • Audit results from third-party accounting firms

  • Loans, leases, and security agreements

  • Company bank accounts

3. Asset information

Depending on the organization, your company assets may represent the most valuable part of your business. The documents to include here are:

  • Summary of all owned and leased property

  • Property mortgages, liens, titles, and deeds

  • Complete lists of equipment along with their date of purchase

  • Equipment purchase agreements and financing documents

  • Lists of key suppliers and manufacturers

  • Product inventories

  • Intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights

4. Human resources information

Whether you’re a tiny startup or a growing business, your employees represent the future of your organization. Although sensitive personal data should be kept off-limits at all times, potential M&A buyers will want to know who your employees are and what they bring to the company.

Information such as employee titles, salaries, benefits, bonuses, health insurance plans, and stock options is all relevant content that should be included in your virtual data room.

5. Sales and marketing information

Your potential buyers will want to know that you have a strong and diverse customer base, as well as solid plans for marketing and selling to these customers. This will increase the likelihood of your company’s future growth. Some documents to include for this topic are:

  • A list of the company’s major customers and the revenue that each one has generated

  • Future sales projections and estimates

  • Sales and marketing literature

  • Product roadmaps

  • Commission plans for sales professionals

  • Summaries of previous campaigns and launches

  • Industry and analyst reports

Conclusion

Using a virtual data room ensures that you can securely share information with potential M&A buyers, reducing your overhead and facilitating ease of access. Sign up for your SecureDocs free trial today and start preparing for your next transaction in minutes.

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