We closed another cross-border transaction in early July when my Canadian client was acquired by a Japanese company. As I reflect on this engagement, two points really stand out; the points arent new, yet the immediacy of the transaction makes them fresh. First, the software industry is ultra-international; a firms best acquirer can come from anywhere in the world. In this specific deal, active buyers came from the seven countries in North America, Europe and Asia. So, if youre thinking about M&A, plan a comprehensive global search. Second, every country has its unique business culture, and approaches to negotiation, valuation, risk mitigation, due diligence, employee retention, non-competes, etc. can vary widely. For example, in this case, third party validation viewed by the buyers senior executives as unbiased outside advice was particularly important in the areas of valuation, intellectual property, financial matters, customer relationships, and technology. The dynamics of dealing with multiple third parties on issues key to the success of the transaction brings a set of challenges not present in most transactions. Corums decades of cross-border transaction experience, and my many years in Asia, were leveraged repeatedly in bringing this transaction to a successful close.
Posted by Mark Reed
, on 31 July 2009