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Company Acquisition

Company acquisition is the process of acquiring a company to build on strengths or weaknesses of the acquiring company. A merger is similar to an acquisition but refers more strictly to combining all of the interests of both companies in to a stronger single company. The end result is to grow the business in a quicker and more profitable manner than normal organic growth would allow.
The process begins with defining the type of business that would make a good acquisition. Generally businesses within the same segment or a highly complementary market segment are targeted. Once defined the target business is approached and if interest is shown due diligence is performed to ascertain the financial condition of the business.
When the financial terms are agreed upon, and the contract is signed the merger portion of the acquisition begins. Overlapping processes, personnel and products are evaluated and the better-performing pieces are retained, while the acquisition of business.
Legal Due Diligence
This relates to the legal rights and obligations affecting the business or company being acquired. The investigation usually takes the form of detailed questionnaires prepared by the purchaser's lawyers requesting disclosure of relevant information, as well as the factual matters referred to in the warranties which the purchaser will seek to include as part of the final agreements (see below.)

Financial Due Diligence
This part of the purchaser's investigations focuses on the financial and tax affairs of the business, and the purchaser is usually assisted by a firm of accountants who are experienced in such matters. The information revealed by these investigations will again be important in the ongoing negotiations with the vendor.

Commercial Due Diligence
By contrast with the legal and financial investigations which largely relate to the historic and current state of affairs of the target business as at the date of the acquisition, the commercial due diligence investigations focus on the practical aspects of conducting the business after the acquisition has been completed. This will include issues such as the integration of the target's employees into the purchaser's existing operations and the likely reactions of the target's ongoing trading partners. The purchaser may commonly expect the management and key employees of the target company to assist in the preparation of a business plan concerning future operations, although it is unlikely that a vendor would warrant the accuracy of such a business plan.

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