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Data loss to blame for failed mergers and acquisitions

Data loss is one of the bigger reasons why mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fail, losing companies millions of pounds each year. Those are the results of a new survey condicted by dedicated virtual data room provider for M&A deals, ansarada.

According to ansarada's report, 71 per cent of UK executives involved in M&As have confirmed that their deals have been delayed due to loss of critical data.

This critical data usually sits in various documents, emails, devices and IT systems. The report also says that these delays last, on average, 12 days.

Executives are not the only ones fearing for data while trying to close deals – it was said that 11 per cent of dealmakers weren't certain their data was secure, as they were trying to close deals.

The report is based on answers given during 2015, from 520 bankers, lawyers, consultants and accountants specialising in M&A.

When it comes to financial losses thanks to missing data, 2014 (most recent figures) was the record year, with 339 deals worth £256 billion collapsed.

ansarada's executive advises businesses what to do in order to stay safe:

  • Make sure you run your Q&A process through the data room. Using emails to conduct your Q&A could lead to breaches of confidentiality and information around negotiations being leaked. Keep your Q&A in one secure and auditable environment.
  • Ensure you implement your document security and permissions before bidders enter the data room. Planning enables a seamless bidder experience and allows you to keep complete control of your documentation.
  • To prevent document leaks, ensure that deal documents have a dynamic watermark on them which keeps individuals accountable for the security of the documents in their possession.
  • Enable flexibility by applying functionality that allows you to revoke access to saved documents at any time.

“Considering the sensitive nature of M&A deals, it’s alarming to think that ‘data-loss’ remains such a big issue for the industry,” says Stephen Dearing, MD of EMEA, ansarada.

“With recent advancements in technology and security policies, dealmakers should be in complete control of the information they need to close a deal efficiently and to a tight deadline.”