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Put Your Best Foot Forward in Financing, M&A and other Transactions

To maximize the likelihood of a successful exit requires that companies evaluate key deal execution and valuation issues on a regular basis. Rather than wait until a potential acquirer, investor or strategic partner identifies something as a deal-threatening red flag, learn how you can build value in anticipation of the big deal.

At the May 30 BayBio Lunch & Learn, Arnold & Porter attorneys Jeff Hessekiel, Julia Vax, and Steve Parker provided key lessons learned in M&As, financing or significant partnerships.

Attendees participate in a one hour discussion.
Attendees participate in a one hour discussion.

So what’s a company to do to put its best foot forward? Here are three ways a company can improve its footing.

  1. Keep good corporate hygiene.  In others words, iron out all your intellectual property issues. Well documented lab notebooks, paper or electronic, can help keep it transparent who owns what. Also, be aware of who you negotiate with, whether it’s the tech transfer office, the general counsel or directly with the principal investigator. It’s important to know where you stand legally.
  2. Be diligent about your clinical trials. This might sound obvious. Once you begin evaluating CROs to help conduct clinical trials, make sure that the procedures they use will pass muster with the FDA. Remember, you have to explain to your potential partner and to the FDA how you came up with your data.
  3. An exit is about everything you’ve done before. Whether it’s your IPO or a corporate buyout, you’ve done your investors well. Getting to this point requires you to track your decision making process. Every decision made has to be documented and signed. Your experimental data and evidence of support should be written out. Address legal issues long before the deal day.
  4. Have a plan to deal with issues that may come up late in the process of a deal with a significant partner. Your greatest strength is the confidence in knowing what you have – avoid late night phone calls the night before the deal is about to happen.