One of our clients recently inquired about the resources most frequently used and most helpful for due diligence on European mergers and acquisitions (M&A). With rising concerns over information security during M&A transactions and uncertainties over Brexit, it’s never been more important to make well-informed, data-driven decisions.
In addition, many large companies and law firms using these services typically have more than one business group owner requiring access to M&A information for different reasons. These groups include the library, business development teams, conflicts and general counsel.
According to the most recent “The State of the Deal” report on M&A trends conducted annually by Deloitte:
63% of dealmakers now incorporate the use of non-spreadsheet-based M&A intelligence tools to conduct due diligence and plan their integrations. The benefits of these tools as cited by respondents include smoother post-deal integration, faster deal completion and reduction of costs and conflicts.
These tools go beyond the numbers-heavy approach of traditional spreadsheets to provide a visualized overview of important details from employee headcount to capital raised to-date.
After reviewing our internal database and soliciting feedback from LAC Group’s virtual researchers in both the US and the UK, we came up with a list of contenders and recommendations.
The preferred, go-to-choices for due diligence:
- Pitchbook, a Seattle-based start-up launched in 2009 that tracks all aspects of public and private equity markets, including venture capital, private equity and M&A information. Pitchbook was acquired by Morningstar in 2016.
- Capital IQ, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence and relied on as a comprehensive source of sector-specific financial data.
Though originally regarded as a private company-focused platform, Pitchbook has broadened its public company coverage to become a one-stop resource for M&A data. It’s a highly authoritative resource backed up by excellent, human-driven customer support and well-researched data that’s critical to any M&A decision. It also provides private company information, which is usually much harder to find.
Combining over 5,000 financial and 3,000 qualitative data points across 17 different industries, Capital IQ provides deeper analytics and visualized overviews of the data to assist with aftermarket research and enable quick comparisons and charting. It offers a user-friendly experience on any device, comes with plugins for Microsoft Excel and provides a continuously updated repository of M&A transactions presented in a visual format.
Other excellent resources for global M&A deals
Bloomberg Law: Deal M&A offers over 25 searchable fields with the best available information on some 550,000 public and private deals from around the world. The results are presented in a tabular format, and can be sorted and exported to a spreadsheet for analysis, printing and annotation, while the deal details link provides a summary of the financial terms of each deal.
CB Insights is a global database of private companies providing real-time information about venture capital and angel investor deals for private startups. It publishes independent news on the latest M&A deals, IPOs, PEs and industry analysis. Researchers can also view updates by industry or geographical location.
FactSet provides a data feed from over 500,000 mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and spin-offs involving both private and public companies from around the world. In addition to the deal terms and details, the feed also identifies participants, attitudes and company information from the time of the announcement. The database is updated daily.
M&A Research Catalyst pulls together data from Bureau van Dijk’s Orbis and Zephyr to deliver clear and easily interpretable reports generated specifically for M&A research. These reports combine information on companies, valuations and deal comparisons to help identify targets and acquirers and carry out competitive intelligence research.
Merger Market focuses on predictive intelligence to help subscribers find the best opportunities first. It provides league tables to let researchers analyze company performance, independent coverage of equity capital markets, collated news updates from 3,000+ global media outlets and a database of historical M&A transactions.
Real Deals EU is an independent news resource for European private equity firms. They offer a fully searchable PE database where researchers can track down companies by region, fund status, industry and asset portfolio. The free trial includes access to the Real Deals online magazine and access to their intelligence database.
Refinitiv draws data from the Thomson Reuters M&A database to provide global market news and information including M&A and private equity deals. The data is updated every minute to provide real-time market intelligence insights and up-to-date research reports. The platform publishes weekly investment banking scorecards and deals snapshots and quarterly reviews.
Zephyr is a comprehensive database of M&A deal information that’s updated hourly to provide near instantaneous insights for investment and corporate research professionals. It also brings independent editorials, integrated financials, customizable alerts and additional resources for European M&As, including the European Business Angel Network.
Due diligence in the digital age
Digital disruption has changed the M&A game, removing some of the limits once set by geographical borders and barriers. Now companies have to think about things like consolidating digital assets across a wide range of systems and reducing cybersecurity threats to information privacy and integrity.
LAC Group’s spend management team has experience in evaluating and negotiating the majority of these online research services. If you’re interested in knowing more about our expertise in your electronic information resources, you may search our database.
M&A present substantial opportunities and risks alike. To drive value and ensure that the result meets or surpasses expectations, M&A negotiators need to take advantage of the data available to them and uncover any possible surprises. Digital tools are unlocking that value by giving dealmakers easier access to information that can guide their decisions and reduce risk.