Confidentiality is an issue over which we find views crossing the spectrum of concern, from complete paranoia, to very little or no concern at all. We are of the view that confidentiality does matter and will matter to both parties, and that any disregard for confidentiality threatens the value of the Company to both buyer and seller.
For important reasons, we recommend to any owner thinking about selling the company today, tomorrow, or any day, that the event be approached quietly.
We recommend that NO information be release at any time, indiscriminately. Instead, we recommend that a selling strategy be carefully calculated, developed and prepared in written detail, and thereafter, that such information be disclosed only under strict terms of confidentiality and only to those who have been pre-qualified and identified as having sincere and capable buying interests.
Many would be interested in looking and learning, given the chance. Some may be interested in stealing the Company. Fewer will be both capable and seriously interested in purchasing the Company for its full market value, but such is the interest that should be identified before any disclosure is made, and disclosure should be limited to just those few.
At the same time, in order to interest a buyer seriously, and in order to ascertain the sincere interests of any potential buyer, one must be prepared to disclose a great deal of confidential information. And, while this might sound like the chicken or egg conundrum, it is achievable.
We’ll begin each engagement with our own commitment to confidentiality.
davidsonashe will be prepared from the outset of any engagement to enter into an agreement in accordance with the following provisions, to hold any and all confidential information in the strictest of confidence.
- The initial purpose for the confidential information obtained from a seller will be to assist in the valuation and preparation processes, and then, only if and when we have the express written authorization of the seller, will such information be used for any additional purpose.
- If and when so authorized for additional purpose, we will continue to protect and husband that confidential information, and will make disclosure only to advance the goals and objectives provided by such authorization. Potential buyer recipients of such information will first be required to execute our comprehensive Buyer’s Warranty and Confidentiality Agreement and to otherwise demonstrate appropriate interest, intent and financial ability.
- Our purpose for the confidential information obtained from a buyer will be to help us identify a buyer with background and/or search criteria that will fit a particular business and to qualify the buyer’s financial ability to purchase a given business. It will be disclosed only with the express authorization of the buyer, generally as an attachment to an Offer to Purchase a given business, should an offer be forthcoming.
- Our commitment to confidentiality will not expire at the end of the authorization period or even upon the achievement of the authorized objectives. Except for such authorized purposes, we will not at any time, by way of example or for reference or referral purposes, or for any other inappropriate purpose, identify either the seller, or the buyer, or the company, or otherwise disclose confidential information.
We will hold the identity and other confidential information of buyer and seller alike in the strictest of confidence and will be pleased to provide that commitment in writing at our first opportunity.