A £500 million business entered exclusive discussions to sell a substantial part of the group – a multinational division with many operating entities across North America, Europe and Asia. The small Group Head Office wanted to remain focused on the day-to-day management of the retained Group. The role was to project-manage the disposal process, coordinating investment bankers, professional advisors and operating management.
Day to day tasks included preparation of the data room, managing the flow of financial data to the accountants providing financial vendor due diligence, leading the group accountants in the preparation of the financial model that underpinned the vendor due diligence reports, managing the Q and A from the bidder in terms of prioritizing answers. A daily call was established to co-ordinate between internal managers working on the project and external advisors supporting the process (M&A advisors, accountants, lawyers, environmental and pension experts). Attending all meetings between management and the bidders and their advisors ensured messages were consistent and issues were addressed. Management of advisors and dealing with all but the most critical issues enabled senior management to get on with the day job.
Group CEO: “By bringing in external support to project-manage the sale and due diligence process, we were able to continue running the retained business and minimize the disruption that a complex transaction inevitably brings. Using the right external resource, also brought greater speed to the process, meaning we had cash in the bank earlier. Robert brought extensive experience of running processes and a detailed understanding of the thought processes of the buyers and their advisors – he managed day-to-day issues with confidence and accurately judged when to raise issues to the CEO and CFO. Without his support we would have had a slower, more time consuming and more expensive process.”