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Merger Candidate Interview Guide

April 9, 2010
By: Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal Columnist

Use this interview guide when considering a merger. Utilizing a questionnaire to interview prospective merger candidates will standardize the process and prompt an informed decision about the prospective company.

1. Ownership/partnership conditions, constraints, desires.

2. Company objectives, current results, and marketing plans.

3. Year-to-date financial statements and annual financial statements for each of the three prior years.

4. Individual information

a. For each potential owner:

(1) Educational background

(2) Years in business

(3) Experience and positions with the company

(4) Certifications and professional accomplishments

(5) Field(s) of specialty

(6) Total employee cost, wages paid, bonuses, profit sharing, benefits and retirement plan provided

(7) Employment agreements in force and contemplated

(8) Historical earnings/distributions for each of the last three years

(9) Other business experience and/or affiliations

(10) Professional/vocational associations and community activities and commitments

(11) Non-company business interests, potential conflicts of interest, etc.

b. For each skilled person:

(1) Position

(2) Salary

(3) Experience and tenure of the company

5. Discuss past owners, including an explanation for departures.



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