Who are the logical buyers of software companies?
In general technology companies buy technology companies. Logical buyers are likely to be of a size thats able to do the deal, but not so much bigger they see the opportunity as inconsequential. They are more likely to be a company in an adjacent market or an equity investor than a direct competitor. Though all the logical reasons for taking a competitor out exist, many see a higher long term pay-off moving into an adjacent market niche by acquiring a company located there with a strong customer base. Unfortunately, this also increases the risk as the company moves into an area it is less familiar with and has less experience in selling into and developing for.
No. We did at one time but learned early on that consulting, venture funding and IPOs distract from our core mission.
Its easier to sell a big company than a small one. Its easier to sell a company with an established market position than a start up with unproven technology, no matter how exciting it might be. Its much easier to sell a profitable company than a company thats not. However, small, unprofitable companies do sell.
The market will tell us, but the process starts with a valuation that tells you, among other things, what companies like yours have recently sold for and what we believe is a fair market value given current market conditions.
Due diligence is a process that allows the buyer to verify the representations made by the seller upon which an offer has been based. Buyers will exhaustively review all technical, operational, and financial records looking for undisclosed problems, flaws in accounting practices, and verify ownership of intellectual property.
Corum Group understands the sensitive nature of each transaction requires total confidentiality. Employees, vendors and the competition need not know your intentions until you are ready to announce that a deal has closed. We guard your proprietary information by executing confidentiality agreements with qualified prospective buyers. Furthermore, we dont provide comprehensive information about your company just because someone has signed a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement. We start with preliminary summary information and provide more detail on an as needed basis only when appropriate.
This also allows you the freedom to continue to focus on running your business throughout the sale process - a key aspect of maximizing your closing price.
Corum works with privately held, software and IT services companies. We have worked with startup companies and companies with revenues in the $100 million range.
A Corum M&A advisor is responsible for the success of the engagement and is your primary contact with targeted buyers. One and often two other M&A advisors provide geographic coverage and also insure we have an experienced person up to speed and available to step in when needed. Additionally, you will work with a team of researchers, writers and financial analysts that prepare the documents needed to take your company to market.
Our goal is to make sure you are focused on running your business and not unduly distracted by the process. Nonetheless you will have to review and approve the buyer lists, marketing strategies and the offering documents we write. These include an executive summary, blind letters and a financial package for buyer review. As qualified buyers express interest you will be involved in conference calls and meetings and in the due diligence endgame.
The Corum Group has been working exclusively in the software technology space for over 20 years and has established relationships with a large number of software companies and equity investors around the world that have the ability and interest in doing technology deals. In fact, we have negotiated deals with many of them. Our research staff is focused on software technology and we believe we have the most robust database of software companies, investors and trade associations in the world.
Corums compensation comes primarily from success fees when a transaction is completed. If a transaction is not completed no fees are charged. In addition Corum charges a monthly retainer to help cover the firms administrative costs for such things as compilation of client information, valuation work and research and analysis, all of which are detail-oriented and time-consuming. The retainer also serves as a commitment from you that indicates your seriousness about pursuing a transaction as opposed to just testing the waters out of curiosity.
While your legal and accounting advisors are important to the process and may have been involved in the merger and acquisition process, they are not likely to have the technical knowledge to truly understand your business or why buyers of tech companies do what they do. Without that knowledge their ability to market your company or negotiate the most favorable terms on your behalf will be hampered.
We were very impressed with Corum's ability to quickly understand who we are, what we do and how it all related to our industry. Because of this, we were able to narrow options down based on what made the best strategic sense despite some very challenging elements of complexity.