Corum serves as an intermediary for software companies seeking to be acquired and/or recapitalized, whether by a strategic acquirer, private equity firm or other partner. Corum leads clients through a disciplined Tech M&A process, honed over more than 30 years of selling software companies, designed to create an auction environment that will ultimately lead to an Optimal Outcome for our clients.
No. We have done this in the past, but learned early on that consulting, venture funding and IPOs distract from our core mission of selling software companies.
It’s easier to sell a large company than a small one. It’s easier to sell a company with an established market position than a startup with unproven technology, no matter how exciting it might be. It’s much easier to sell a profitable company than a company that’s not. However, depending on the market, technology and other circumstances, companies of any size, stage or profitability can be sold.
Corum works with privately held software and related technology companies. We have worked with pre-revenue startups, and with companies having revenues of more than $100M.
I would like to acquire a technology company. Can you add me to your distribution list of businesses for sale?
Corum's disciplined eight stage M&A process means that we only take our client companies out to those potential acquirers we think have the highest likelihood of providing an optimal outcome. This means we do not have a distribution list where we advertise all the companies that we represent. With thousands of potential acquirers, we must remain disciplined in order to protect our clients' valuable time.
If you would like to be added to Corum's M&A database as a potential acquirer, please contact us, providing as much detail as possible about your company, the kinds of companies you are looking to acquire, and any differentiators that could make you the ideal fit for our clients.
Selling a technology company is an extremely time-consuming and complex task, today more than ever. The benefits of an advisor are many, but a few of the most notable include a) serving as a buffer between you and your acquirer during negotiations, keeping that vital relationship healthy; b) longstanding buyer relationships and, in Corum's case, the largest buyer knowledgebase in the industry; and c) allowing you the freedom to continue to focus on running your business throughout the sale process – a key aspect of maximizing your closing price.
Corum has developed a well-choreographed process that is usually able to get through the preparation phase in four to six weeks. However, the timeline depends to a large degree on how well-prepared you are at the beginning.
Timelines can vary wildly based on any number of factors, including the interested buyers (larger firms generally take longer to make decisions), the specific market, the complexity of the company being sold and much more. Be prepared for a fairly long process – while interest can usually be generated right away, there is much to gain by following a carefully measured process that provides time for: a) the collection and analysis of data for valuation, b) the qualification of prospective buyers and the execution of confidentiality agreements, c) the negotiation of the letter of intent, d) the completion of due diligence and finally, e) the negotiation of the definitive purchase agreement and the transfer of all applicable licenses.
Expect a 9 – 12 month process from the beginning of an engagement to the close of the transaction, and it can take much longer.
The true value of your company is something that can ultimately only be learned from the market after a thorough process that gives all potential acquirers the incentive and opportunity to pay what your company is really worth to them. However, an important part of that process will be working with Corum's valuation experts to determine a fair valuation 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. All Corum dealmakers are former technology CEOs who have built and sold their own companies, and whoever you work with before engaging with Corum will be your primary advisor throughout the process – they won't be suddenly replaced by somebody junior.
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, but no one knows your company better than you do, so your input is vital in the preparatory stages, and then later as qualified buyers emerge.
The engagement begins with a thorough "CEO Worksheet" whereby you will provide Corum the basic information needed to begin the process. You will work with your M&A advisor to develop a company presentation that you will present to Corum at an "Initial Presentation Meeting" as if to a buyer. From there, Corum staff will develop buyer lists, marketing strategies and the offering documents that will require your review and approval, while you and your advisor will take the feedback provided in the meeting to further develop and hone your buyer presentation.
Once outreach is well underway and qualified buyers begin to express interest, you will be involved in conference calls, presentations to buyers and other meetings, with your feedback and engagement playing an important role through negotiation and into due diligence.
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. Typically these records will be made available to potential acquirers in a carefully managed process by way of a virtual data room, precisely staged so that the most sensitive materials are provided only once all other hurdles have been crossed.
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 don’t 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.
The Corum Group has been working exclusively in the software technology space for over 30 years and has established relationships with all major strategic and financial buyers of software conmpanies. We have negotiated deals with many of them, and even more importantly, our educational Tech M&A events provide us a unique opportunity to build relationships outside the crucible of the deal, with buyers participating as attendees, speakers and sponsors. All of the information we gather from our interactions with buyers is centralized and utilized through the most robust database of software companies and acquirers in the world.
Additionally, as non-tech companies become more and more active in the technology space, Corum's global, dedicated research team is always working to identify and connect with the unexpected and unusual buyers that make up a suprising share of the acquirers of technology companies today.
Corum’s 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 some of the firm’s administrative costs for the detail-oriented and time-consuming tasks required for a properly managed M&A process. The retainer also serves as a commitment from you that indicates your seriousness about pursuing a transaction, as opposed to simply testing the waters out of curiosity. Unlike many M&A advisors, Corum charges no break-up fee, and the decision to accept an offer or not rests entirely with you.