Timing the Meeting (the Commercial Due Diligence Partner Meeting with Management)
It is well established practice to bring your commercial due diligence partner to the Management Meeting. It creates context and gives your diligence practitioner a first-hand view of what management represents to be most significant.
Competitor Forecasting in Commercial Due Diligence: How to Chase Down a Moving Target
Why competitor forecasting matters. In a typical commercial diligence process, a significant amount of work is conducted to understand how the end-market and channels will grow and develop - ‘market forecasting.’
Observations on how Financial (PE) and Strategic (Corp Dev) Investors Consider Segmentation Opportunities Differently from One Another
Serving a wide-range of clients, one pattern that I have noticed is the degree to which the strongest Corp Dev groups (the “Strategics”) consider customer segments as a means for asset value creation – and do so in ways that outrun what many Private Equity firms consider.
Building Habits to Reduce Due Diligence Mistakes
Private Equity investing has been described as a combination of art and science, calling on a wide range of disciplines to make good judgements. In that spirit, I wanted to share a few thoughts I use to test my own judgment. They all surround a central question: What am I missing?
Commercial Diligence Tips for Tech-Enabled Service Businesses
Many recent PE deals have targeted businesses that apply technology to help customers streamline processes which have previously been manual and “paper-based.”
Diligence Trappings of Lawn Sign Decisions
Regardless of where any of us stand on a political spectrum, there is a superbly valuable due diligence lesson for investment teams that derives from the behavioral sciences of psychology and politics. There is a dangerous trap that we refer to as the lawn sign decision.
Indefensible (Competitive Position)
I’m am fairly certain that just about every commercial diligence assignment conducted is going to include measurement of the asset's commercial strength relative to customer needs and expectations, and relative to perceptions of competitors and alternatives.
Available Market Size
Why Large Markets Can Sometimes Feel Very Small (and why Addressable Market is insufficient) We’ve written before about the need to clearly define markets to inform accurate sizing. But even with the clearest possible definition, one other piece of analysis is critical, and is often overlooked – quantifying what we like to call the Available Market Size.
Strength of Demand vs. Strength of Brand
What is more important when looking at a deal: the strength of demand drivers, or the strength of the target company's brand equity? With rare exception, Demand – not Choice (brand equity among suppliers) – is more fundamental to a successful acquisition outcome.
Many Private Equity deals involve a “platform and add-on” play – predicated at least in part on “bigger is better”. Among the various benefits of consolidation, some of the most commonly cited value gen opportunities relate to bundling and cross-selling. Just this year, we’ve worked on deals from building products to processed meats where this has been a key part of the investment…