Don’t let the excitement of closing a deal, let you rush past this critical step. Due diligence is the legal, operational and financial review that should be conducted before any merger or acquisition. This includes reviewing the target company’s financial records, and performance over a defined period of time, customarily the past 5 years.
By taking the time to conduct thorough due diligence on a specific company before pulling the trigger, you need to look into its market capitalization, revenue, competitor management, and risks. This will better equip you to make a decision that aligns with your investment strategy.
Due diligence also holds benefits for the seller. Going through this rigorous financial examination of a company’s true worth is likely to reveal its fair market value which could exceed an initial inaccurate valuation.
While analyzing the financial figures of a company of interest, it is best to start with reviewing its revenue, profit, and margin trends, and comparing them with competitors to gain perspective. Logically, the more cash a business generates the better investment it is likely to be because it can cover its costs/debts and grow. However, delving deeper will allow you to review and analyze the consolidated balance sheet of a company to see the full picture.
Another important factor to consider when performing due diligence is a company’s management and share ownership. This can be analyzed through researching management structures and reviewing the bios of management key players to evaluate their levels of expertise and experience.
It is also important to bear in mind that if you are considering investing in a start-up, an in-depth investigation might be difficult because the company may not have a track record yet. In those cases, you should look at the company’s past and future growth plan and evaluate how realistic it is. It is advisable for any investor to choose a start-up with promising products that are most likely to yield a Return on Investment (ROI) within a five-year period. It’s also advisable to have an exit strategy to recover your money in case the business fails. Another safeguard to consider when entering into such a partnership is to split both the capital and loss. Furthermore, be on the lookout for new trends, technologies, and brands, and get ready to cash out when you find that the business may not thrive with the advent of specific changes.
Another final factor to consider in hard due diligence is auditing financial statements, reading projections for future performance, reviewing potential or ongoing litigation, and evaluating operational redundancies that can be eliminated.
Due diligence is primarily a systematic method for reducing exposure to risks. At Kozman & Co. we give investors the results of a detailed and meticulous due diligence report to equip you with the capacity to make wise and well-informed business decisions.