MergerMuse acts a free billboard where European and US based companies can advertise their general acquisition or investment criteria. This allows potential targets or their advisers to quickly search for potential acquirers or investors. Whilst there are issues in publicly advertising that a business is up for sale, there are few drawbacks in advertising that a business is reviewing M&A opportunities.
The business of M&A deal sourcing has long been conducted behind closed doors for reasons of protecting a target’s goodwill. But where companies are already known to be reviewing acquisition opportunities, MergerMuse believes publicising M&A criteria in a free to access, centralised, easy to search location should improve returns for all stakeholders. If a company is reviewing acquisition opportunities it can normally be found out from their stated strategy, recent history of acquisitions or industry gossip, but often this information can be difficult to search for. Through using MergerMuse, potential targets and their advisers can easily search for potential acquirers when the time is right.
The website also allows companies to offer finder’s fee type incentives to users who suggest suitable M&A opportunities. No commission is payable unless the suggested transaction completes and all contributions are anonymous. Using this functionality to offer finder’s fees allows companies to incentivise unconnected individuals to share information (who would otherwise keep it to themselves or pass it on to a competitor). Because of this incentive, potential targets can also approach potential acquirers anonymously.
We believe that MergerMuse adds structure to the process of M&A target sourcing. Whilst solely relying on retained advisers and their contacts for suggesting acquisition opportunities may sometimes be appropriate, it becomes less effective when reviewing unquoted small, high growth opportunities within young, fast growing or niche sectors. Through MergerMuse acquirers can make their intentions known and incentivise industry experts to share their knowledge in areas in which retained advisers may be lacking.
Our aim is to improve returns from M&A for both acquirers and targets. We take a view that free access to a well-structured source of information should help companies find the right opportunity at the right time and therefore improve returns for all stakeholders.