Acquiring a Company in the UK: 5 tips for Buyers


By John Stanley

1.      In the UK more due diligence is done upfront than in Ireland, well ahead of creating the heads of terms agreement. It’s also regarded as a confirmatory process rather than looking for issues that could stop the process. Irish buyers need to be aware of that, advises M&A specialist Brian Murphy, a Corporate Finance Partner, DC Corporate.

2.     Brian also recommends getting lawyers involved at an early stage because, although it is very similar to Ireland’s, it is still a different legal system.

3.     There is merit in going the adviser-to-adviser route. It’s an approach that advocates say enables a buyer to be taken more seriously, more quickly. It is assumed that the adviser will have done his or her homework and have a good grasp of their client’s seriousness of intent and their ability to execute a deal.

4.     Make direct approaches to potential targets you are genuinely interested in, initially through your advisers, advises Alan Bruce MD of Anderco, a Cork-based company currently acquiring companies in the UK. “I’d advise picking up the phone and talking directly; get an appointment and have a discussion.”

5 Remember that the UK is very open to discussing positions and tends to be transparent. It is pretty much ‘what it says on the tin’ – direct, proper and very English.


Image by 'tmy' on Flickr Creative Commons.