Buy Side vs Sell Side M&A Research

February 4, 2013

We recently announced our new buy-side service to private-equity groups and M&A firms who need quality M&A research. There have been a few questions from clients and we would like to address some of the differences between our buy and sell side research services. So how do the research needs of a buy side M&A shop differ from that of a sell side focused shop?

Buy side M&A firms general have a focus on target and opportunity identification. Because of this we provide to a buy side clients research specifically focused on validating and testing target contact information. In addition to this we also provide industry reporting and value metric type information that can be used to assess price and potential in a certain space or with a certain target. While buy side M&A firms tend to have more specific research criteria, they do generally have a large appetite for data.

We find that sell side focused M&A firms have a slightly more diverse need for data. While sell side focused M&A firms occasionally have the need for buy side research mentioned above, the core of their research needs is often centered on identifying buyers and investors. Additionally sell side firms use data to identify new potential clients to market to, industry reporting and comparable transactional data to validate value.

Each service requires the use of different data tools and a different team skill set . This basic difference in these needs is why our clients have the choice between a number of research packages tailored to the specific need of each firm type. The driving force behind the development of a buy side only service was to recognize this need difference and allow those who had a narrower needed scope of data to not pay for data or support they did not need or use.