Once you’ve determined the characteristics of your ideal acquisition prospect, you’re ready to start researching specific companies. You can begin by using secondary research to identify companies and obtain key data. With secondary research we want to leverage the information we find to evaluate whether companies are qualified. We’ve listed a couple of resources below:
- Bloomberg – Information on publicly traded companies. This service is expensive, but accurate.
- Kompass – Information on international companies and transactions
- LexisNexis – Comprehensive news database, useful for researching company history
- Manta – Free database with information on most companies large or small
- OneSource – Information that’s publicly available for privately held companies
- S&P Capital IQ – U.S. and Global financial information and analysis
- Thomson Reuters – High quality research in a variety of industries
- Search Engines – Never underestimate the power of simple online searches. You will be surprised what you can find by simply typing keywords into Google, Yahoo! or Bing.
Remember, you will not find out everything about your prospect companies using secondary research. Your goal at this stage is to fill in a few pieces of information to determine if you want to continue researching further with primary research.