In our minds, any deal that fails to close could be called a disaster. The worst are those that fail to close for all the wrong reasons. We had significant buyer interest in our client company, with above market offers from highly qualified strategic buyers. What ultimately caused the transaction to fall apart was not a collapse of the markets, or faulty financials, or other due diligence issues. Unfortunately, what killed the deal was arrogance and the cockiness displayed by the Founder/CEO and his hired gun President. They loved playing off each others egos, and their gamesmanship in meetings with buyers eventually undermined our efforts. In effect, their behavior created a culture clash with the buyers at the very highest executive level. What could have been a significant software M&A transaction vanished only a week before it was to close, and with changing market conditions, the companys fortunes have never recovered.

Lesson: Check your ego at the door.