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A solid, factual and compelling offering memorandum maximizes the chances of not only selling a business, but obtaining the highest possible price.  An offering memorandum is also referred to as the selling memorandum, a confidential descriptive memorandum, or simply as “the book.” The memorandum, regardless of the terminology used, must be as factual as possible, but the Executive Summary portion of it allows for a bit of “selling the sizzle.”  Most potential buyers want to know the basics of the company and of the deal right at the beginning.  What is the proposed transaction and what are some of the company highlights?  The executive summary should also contain an outline of the ownership and management structure, a description of the business, some financial highlights, a quick review of the company’s products and/or services, its markets, reason for sale and any other major items of importance.

The executive summary, then, is a quick synopsis of the items covered in the offering memorandum that should entice a prospective buyer to study the offering memorandum itself.  Here are some critical elements of the offering memorandum:

• Executive Summary
• The Company
• History of the Company
• The Markets
• The Products
• Distribution
• Customers and/or Clients
• The Competition
• Management
• Real Estate
• Financials
• Growth Strategies
• Competitive Advantages
• Conclusion
• Exhibits

“The offering memorandum should not only be a compelling document in order to capture the reader’s attention, but it should be so thorough that one should expect the potential acquirer to submit a fairly tight price range for his or her initial offer.  In short, the best offering memorandums are complete but not too long, easy to read, believably professional and show that the company has an opportunity for growth.”
    Source: The Best of the M&A Today Newsletter

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