Discretion and Confidentiality
We recognize that transactions do not always take place against ideal backdrops. Issues with employees, partners, suppliers, shareholders and a variety of other stakeholders may make the mere mention of a transaction a very sensitive issue. For this reason we hold confidentiality very dear. Though conducting due diligence is important to us, we take great pains to structure our inquiries in gentle and unobtrusive ways.
Working closely with the seller’s representatives we craft a detailed set of criteria to avoid inadvertent disclosures or triggering the ever busy rumor mill. No one enjoys the often cloak-and-daggeresque measures required to avoid turning a working environment corrosive, but we do take a certain pride in being able to keep the process ”under wraps.”
Post-transaction, many sellers are not anxious to publicize the details (or even existence) of the sale. Accordingly, we have a strict policy of not commenting on acquisitions unless expressly requested to by the seller. We do not press ”tombstones,” or placard our walls with the trappings of hostile takeovers. We rely, instead, on sellers and, occasionally, the employees of our portfolio companies to sing our praises.
Often, however, we find the seller proud to announce our affiliation as a ”white knight” purchaser of units that might otherwise have been closed. In these cases we work carefully with the seller to craft a suitable set of criteria our professionals use to guide our discussions with respect to the transaction. We view it as our job to make a seller look good. It’s a measure of our success that 33% of firm’s we have made purchases from have returned to us to explore other divestiture opportunities.