Buying a Business

by Peter Howson
access120 days access
cpd hours4 CPD hours

This course will enable you to:

  • Plan carefully and strategically for your acquisition
  • Understand what you need to know about the market, the target company, and the deal
  • Understand the due diligence process, what it's for and how to conduct it effectively
  • Create a plan for effective integration of the acquired business

Acquisitions consume an enormous amount of management time and other resources. In order to make a successful acquisition you need to be properly prepared. You need to understand the market, the target business and how you are going to manage the business integration. In Buying a Business, Peter Howson guides you through each step from the initial decision to acquire a business, through preliminary negotiations and due diligence up to and including the final integration.

Deciding to acquire

  • When should I acquire a business?
  • How can I plan for the acquisition?
  • How can I ensure I understand the details?
  • How can I make sure the acquisition is a success?
  • How do I find candidates?

Preliminary negotiations

  • Why do I need a confidentiality agreement?
  • What is the letter of intent?
  • What are some advantages of the letter of intent?
  • What are some disadvantages of the letter of intent?


  • What is due diligence?
  • Who does due diligence?
  • What is commercial due diligence?
  • What is financial due diligence?
  • Where does the information come from?
  • What should be in the report?
  • What are the appropriate legal investigations?
  • How is the business valued?
  • What is discounted cash flow?
  • What other valuation techniques are there?

Final negotiations

  • How do I negotiate the purchase?
  • How can I improve my negotiation skills?
  • How should I start discussions?
  • How do I keep control of the discussions?
  • How can I move the discussions forward?
  • What is the legal agreement?
  • What are warranties and indemnities?
  • How do I finalise the agreement?


  • How can I plan for effective integration?
  • How can I minimise uncertainty?
  • How can I manage the integration?
  • What are the potential barriers to integration?
  • How can I review the results?

Peter Howson is a director of AMR International, London's leading independent provider of commercial due diligence. He has worked on over 200 due diligence assignments. He has over 25 years of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and business development experience gained both in industry and as an advisor. Peter has a degree in Economics, is a CIMA qualified accountant and holds an MBA from Manchester Business School. He has written three M&A and due diligence related books.

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Verifiable CPD
Your course counts as verifiable CPD, if you can answer "yes" to these questions:

  1. Was the learning activity relevant to your career?
  2. Can you explain how you will apply the learning in the workplace?

You select courses that meet these criteria, and as you complete each course you get a CPD certificate so you can provide ACCA with the evidence that you undertook the learning activity.