In Startup Management, Tools

Deal Rooms for Exits

I’ve been hearing about the use of electronic deal rooms in Exit due diligence (see What Is Due Diligence ) for a long time now, but recently I’ve heard more about how they operate and I thought I’d like to share.  The software in the example I was told about was Merrill Datasite ( http://www.datasite.com/ ) but I imagine most deal-room software has similar features.

  • Upload scanned or electronic documents
  • Control access to uploaded documents
  • See exactly who has accessed each document
  • See when, and for how long each individual page was viewed

The last of these sounds a bit creepy, but is apparently invaluable in working out where the potential acquirer is likely to come back with questions!  Then you can be prepared to answer them…

There are plenty of “due diligence” checklists around listing the documents likely to be needed on exit, but I was also interested to hear that it often commercially sensitive data such as the details of customer deals and contracts is shared only in anonymised form until the very last minute, so if the deal falls through for other reasons that information hasn’t been shared.

Let’s hope that we all have need of tools like this for an exit soon!

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