The M&A Lawyer Blog Publishes Forms Database

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Mergers & Acquisitions practice relies heavily on the use of forms and precedent. They are the very foundation of what we do. Absent an eidetic memory, even the most accomplished M&A attorneys need precedent consents, agreements, certificates, checklists, filings and other documents to consummate a transaction, and the quality of the forms used directly impacts…

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Intro to M&A Representations and Warranties

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The primary transaction agreement in every M&A deal contains representations and warranties, colloquially referred to as “reps and warranties” or simply “reps,” from each party to the other. These are statements of past, present and sometimes future fact relating to the status, business, assets, liabilities, properties, condition, operating results, operations and prospects of the party making…

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Anatomy of an Asset Purchase Agreement

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Like the classic game Operation,® asset purchase transactions require parties to take great care in extracting just what they want. However, successful asset sales require quite a bit more than a pair of tweezers and steady hands. Among other things, they require a well-crafted Asset Purchase Agreement (APA). These agreements, at their most basic level, provide for the sale…

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Anatomy of a Stock Purchase Agreement

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Most private M&A transactions are structured as acquisitions of stock, rather than mergers or asset purchases. The principal agreement governing such a transaction is typically a Stock Purchase Agreement (SPA), sometimes styled a Securities Purchase Agreement or simply a Purchase Agreement. At their most basic level, these agreements provide for the sale of shares in a…

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What does an M&A lawyer do?

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An M&A lawyer runs the deal.  She is the hub in the hub-and-spoke system of deal parties and their advisers. The M&A lawyer serves as the primary point of contact for the rest of the deal team and has principal responsibility for shepherding the transaction to closing. She may be an in-house attorney but is more often an M&A specialist practicing with an outside…

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M&A, Corporate and Securities Law Glossary

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Today, I published a fairly comprehensive glossary of terms used by M&A, corporate and securities lawyers. Coverage ranges from the “All Holders, Best Price Rule” and “Bear Hug Letters” to “Unocal Standard” and “XBRL.” It includes 550 terms in all. The Glossary is accessible through the main menu of The M&A Lawyer Blog (in the banner at the top…

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I’m buying a company. How do I know exactly what I’m getting?

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Unfortunately, an acquisition is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. Even if it’s an asset purchase, rather than a merger or stock sale, when you’re buying a company, there’s risk that you’ll be assuming unknown liabilities. For example, unbeknownst to you, a seller may be insolvent, and the transfer of assets to you…

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What you need to know about M&A letters of intent

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Preliminary outlines of proposed M&A deals—whether called letters of intent (LOIs), term sheets or memoranda of understanding (MOUs)—allow parties to sketch out fundamental terms quickly before expending substantial resources on negotiating definitive agreements, finalizing due diligence, pursuing third-party approvals and other matters. M&A letters of intent appear simple (they aren’t) and as something that can be advanced without lawyers (they shouldn’t…

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Documents you need to buy or sell a business

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The documents you need to buy or sell a business depend on the structure (discussed here) and complexity of the deal as well as its specific terms. However, in virtually all cases, there will be a principal agreement governing the transaction. This will be a merger agreement for a merger, a stock purchase agreement for…

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What you need to know about M&A confidentiality agreements

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Most M&A transactions are material to the parties involved, and public disclosure that a deal is in the offing can have profound effects on a company’s operations, ranging from employee attrition to loss of confidence by commercial counterparties. Of course, for public companies, exploration of strategic alternatives may constitute material nonpublic information implicating Regulation FD (which…

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