I don't disagree with the content of this article, but it is solely focused on when a buyer should walk away...
There is an assumption out there that it is always the buyer that walks away from a deal - whether it is because it finds something in due diligence, or some other risks that rise to the surface such as regulatory clearances or concerns over employees, customers etc.
I always tell a seller they must also have lines in the sand which, if crossed, should cause them to question whether to proceed or not. However, one often finds that once a seller is committed to a process it/he/she will proceed even if it/he/she would not have started the process if the hurdles or terms put in front of them down the line had been there at the beginning.
It is important as a sell-side adviser to agree the boundaries at the beginning of the transaction and to remind clients of these regularly. Too many sell-side advisers' fees are contingent on success which can often 'colour' the advice and lead to a lack of impartiality.
Sellers also start to smell the money and start planning what to do with it - the thought of losing that can impair their judgement.
Therefore, agreeing the do's and don'ts upfront and putting them on the wall or laptop screen are essential.
Twice in the last few months, two clients have adopted this approach and have drawn a clear line in the sand; on both occasions, the clients concerned felt that by doing so there were no regrets afterwards. It is difficult and the adrenaline of a process means the brain can get fuddled, but sticking to your guns will pay dividends in the long term.
When Should You Walk Away from a Deal?