There was certainly a bumper crop of mergers and acquisitions last year. It’s a sure bet that before any of the 2015 M&A deals went through, however, the buyers looked very carefully at their target companies. They had gone through a comprehensive appraisal and due diligence process that lasted from a few months to a year. Buyers and their auditors, lawyers and bankers will have had a pretty exhaustive evaluation checklist — audit financials, inspect buildings, validate the value of intangible assets, look at intellectual property and — the step that’s caused about half of my companies some heartburn — determine if all the shareholders can be contacted and notified.
As an investor, I have pretty extensive experience in this process, having been involved in more than 30 acquisitions. One all too common oversight that I make certain is on the checklist is cybersecurity.