Asking us to make confidential approaches to potential buyers, or potential acquisition targets, can help to protect your client’s identity at this sensitive time
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to most business owners when they are considering a sale of their business. Speculation that a company may be for sale could be commercially damaging and raise unnecessary concern with customers, suppliers and employees.
In our experience acquisitive companies are also often keen to protect their confidentiality when making initial approaches to acquisition targets.
Despite their strong professional ethics and integrity, it can be difficult for accountants to market their clients’ companies for sale completely confidentially. This is because of the name of the accountant is usually published in publicly available company accounts. Even where companies are not subject to a statutory audit, it is common practice for the name of a company’s accountant to be disclosed.
This means that within a few seconds, anybody with access to the powerful databases analysing Companies House information can usually deduce the identity of a business for sale, by searching for a business of that type in the area where the accountant is based.
So, if an accountancy firm is marketing a company for sale, it is often very easy to identity that company. This is a particular problem for accountants with a regionally focused client base.
Confidentially marketing a business for sale
Where you are concerned about client confidentiality, we can market the companies you are selling and obtain signed non-disclosure agreements from prospective buyers before disclosing that you are acting on the sale.
This could involve us contacting a list of buyers you have already identified or we could also carry out the research to identify buyers.
Confidentially approaching acquisition target companies
We can make initial approaches to companies your client is interested in acquiring, only disclosing your client’s identity and obtaining non-disclosure agreements if we establish there is an appetite to discuss a deal and the shareholders of the target company have realistic expectations on price. This means you protect your client’s identity and you only spend time talking to targets where there is a realistic prospect of a deal.
We can also carry out acquisition research to help you and your client to identify target acquisition companies which most closely match your client’s criteria.