Whatever happened to “Due Diligence”?


In plain English (dispensing with all the incomprehensible “legalese”),  to a potential buyer of a business, “Due Diligence” means, by proper investigation, making sure you’re going to get what you think you’re going to get … and what you’re going to be paying for.

Practically speaking, that means fully unearthing and understanding all of the target company’s obligations and liabilities: debts, pending and potential lawsuits, leases, warranties, long-term customer agreements, employment contracts, distribution agreements, compensation arrangements and so forth.

“Due Diligence” cannot be exercised overnight … at the drop of a hat … in the blink of an eye … simply by wishing things to be as you would dearly like them to be.

Anyone who enters into a major takeover event without the required “Due Diligence” is either a fool … a knave … both of the above – or a starry-eyed innocent abroad with more money (real or illusory) than sense.

Yesterday’s late announcement of plans to expedite the sale of Rangers (In Administration) smacks more of blind panic; more of a last, desperate D&P cast of the line, in the hope of hooking either a circling predatory shark or an unsuspecting friendly dolphin, than of a tantalising invitation to the prudent business investor.

On the other hand, it may be no more than a cynical ploy to up the cost-cutting pressure on a stubbornly defiant first-team playing squad.

Time will tell … but that time is now running out FAST.


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