Tech M&A update, process and due diligence list

Last week I attended a session on M&A in tech organised by Corum and Greenberg Traurig in Berlin. I never worked with any of the firms, but thought the way they approached the topic was interesting and decided to attend. I think it was a good session - many thanks for the invite!

I do think that M&A can be a viable tool for startups. At the same time, M&A is very tricky, the way the market works is intransparent and the process is a big puzzle, especially for those with little experience. That is why I think that all good education materials about it are helpful to the early stage tech ecosystem.

Below I attach the slides that the Corum folks used during the session. It is long, some 100 pages, but there is a lot of good stuff in it. The presentation starts with some marketing stuff, but the market update starting at slide 26 is interesting. And then, at slide 61, starts the section on the M&A process. Some of the material might not be self explanatory without the story telling, but I think it is still a pretty good read.

I also attach a template for a due dilligence data request list. I have seen such things used in practice and it is not unusual for them to be very long and detailed. If you want to get a flavor of what awaits you when you go into M&A, have a look at it too.

The most interesting stat of the presentation for me can be found on page 28 - average age of an acquired company: 14-15 years. While being aware of how this stat can be distorted, it is still a good indication that building companies is a long term play!

I asked the Corum guys whether the material can be shared, and they agreed.