In today's tough lending environment, deals for distressed businesses or assets are often negotiated with severe time constraints. Day-1 readiness and the execution phase can pose several key risks involving the finance function; however, this area typically receives minimal attention during separation planning.
This edition of M&A Spotlight describes how unforeseen complications can arise when companies unwind shared financial service processes. In many instances, companies lack a clear picture of all interdependent global systems and an understanding of post-divestiture system requirements.
In addition, it's not uncommon for companies to struggle with balancing their attention between day-to-day tasks and separation activities. Some focus almost exclusively on what they need to do to complete the deal and ignore their existing business priorities, whereas they should target areas in the finance function that are most sensitive to value leakage, such as realigning priorities to meet new contractual requirements.
Divesting a business is obviously a complex undertaking. Sellers who focus on finance issues in advance should be able to have smoother divestitures and lesser risk of value erosion during the sales process.