In an article published in the ACC Docket, the official publication of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Angela Humphreys and co-author Michael Geldart, Chief Compliance Officer and Partner at Denver-based private equity investment firm Excellere Partners, provided 10 tips on how companies can prepare for private equity investment and manage the private equity relationship post-transaction.
Prior to obtaining private equity investment, it is crucial to get the company’s financial, legal and operational house in order. Angela and Michael offered the five tips below to help companies prepare:
- Understand the current market by asking and answering questions such as: “What is the current market for your space?” or “Are multiples trending up or down?”
- Develop a comprehensive business strategy to help private equity firms understand what your plan is to remain successful.
- Comprehend the company’s true financial position to potentially expedite the private equity investor’s financial due diligence process.
- Understand exposure to compliance risks, especially in industries such as healthcare or fintech, to avoid killing a deal.
- Evaluate management’s strengths and weaknesses in advance to have a voice with the investor in who stays and who goes post-transaction.
To keep the relationship strong between a company and the private equity investor post-transaction, Angela and Michael outlined the following top five tips:
- Know the investor’s expectations and set them early in the relationship, especially given that investors are more involved in certain aspects of the business now than they may have been historically.
- Be prepared to pivot your business strategy in order to navigate unexpected changes successfully.
- Use investor resources, such as their networks and relationships, to secure things like employee benefits or obtain industry expert advice.
- Be transparent in communicating with the investor on matters including the operations and financial position of the company.
- Take the long view by not being shy about making decisions that are good for the business and by having candid discussions with the private equity investor about business strategies.
Each of these tips is explained in further detail in the full article, “10 Tips for Preparing for and Managing a Private Equity Investor Relationship,” that was published in the October 2019 issue of the ACC Docket and is available online.