Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Master Planning

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How to make a Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Planning in Excel? An easy way to create one is by downloading this example Merger Acquisition DD Excel spreadsheet template now!

This Excel spreadsheet is a grid-based planning file and designed to organize an M&A due diligence project with all parties involved. This overview is created by M&A professionals from all over the world and gives a generic roadmap that is according to business needs. The planning period is 60 days, which is a common timeframe for an M&A due diligence.

This Due Diligence Checklist is intended to provide a thorough wide-ranging list of initial due diligence requests that can be used for any target in any type of transaction. The timeframe is 60 days. However, due to all the information needs, this can take longer. Especially for that reason, it's important to make a good project planning, so you will be able to ask all necessary details in time and can finish a successful Due Diligence within the estimated lead time. The following activities have to be considered:

  • Set goals for Due Diligence
  • Create the Project Charter (resources, budget, etc)
  • Establish document control procedure

  • Weekly Project Status Reporting
  • Weekly Meeting Minutes

  • Organizational Chart
  • Joint Ventures
  • Governing Documents
  • Authorized Jurisdictions
  • Board Minutes
  • Past Transactions
  • Related Party Transactions
  • Management Bios
  • Board Bios
  • Capitalization Table
  • Equity Issuances
  • Options and Convertible Instruments
  • Outstanding Debt
  • Litigation
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Encumbrances
  • Material Contracts - Termination
  • Material Contracts - Restrictive Covenants
  • Material Contracts - Continuing Obligations
  • Indemnification Agreements
  • Compliance Program
  • Bad Actor Confirmation
  • Export Control 
  • Sanctions
  • Material Regulations
  • Regulatory Correspondence
  • Product Recalls
  • Warranty Claims
  • Property Summary
  • Deeds
  • Leases
  • Purchase and Sale Agreements

  • Patents and Trademarks
  • Domain Names
  • Licensing Agreements - Incoming
  • Licensing Agreements - Outgoing
  • Jointly-Owned IP
  • Infringement
  • IP Restrictions
  • IP Litigation
  • IP Development

  • IT Projects
  • Key IT Resources
  • Software
  • Material Software
  • Hardware
  • Material Hardware
  • Technical Architecture
  • System Networks
  • Hardware Configurations
  • IT Support Services
  • IT Maintenance
  • IT Contracts
  • IT Services
  • Growth
  • IT Acquisition
  • Help Desk
  • IT Strategy
  • Automation
  • Web-based Applications
  • Security Protocols
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Data Privacy
  • Sensitive Information
  • Stress Test Results
  • Other IT Security Testing
  • Summary of Security Issues
  • Data Storage
  • Data Encryption
  • E-mail Vulnerabilities
  • Anti-Virus Protection
  • Attacks/Intrusions
  • Mobile Device Security

  • Customer List
  • Customer Terminations
  • Sales Channel List
  • Sales Data
  • Customer Contracts
  • Sales Channel Contracts
  • Commission Contracts
  • Government Contracts
  • Long Term Contracts
  • Commercial Policies
  • Pricing Policies
  • Strategic Plans
  • Marketing/Advertising Plans
  • Product Pipeline
  • Advertising Materials
  • Product Descriptions
  • R&D Summary
  • Marketing Assessment
  • Supplier List
  • Supplier Contracts
  • Subcontractor Contracts
  • Supplier Onboarding Process

  • Financial Statements - Audited
  • Financial Statements - Unaudited
  • Off-Balance Sheet Transactions
  • Contingent Liabilities
  • Prepaid Expenses
  • Audit Letters
  • Accounting Policies
  • Changes to Accounting Policies
  • Budgets
  • Projections
  • Cash Management
  • Investment Policies
  • Hedging
  • Accounts Receivable - Aging
  • Inventory
  • Bad Debts
  • Reserves
  • Credit Support Obligations
  • Bank Statements
  • Capital Expenditures - Past
  • Capital Expenditures - Planned
  • Fixed Assets
  • Equipment
  • Insurance Policies
  • Insurance Claims Summary

  • Employment Agreements
  • Consulting Agreements
  • Compensation Arrangements
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Confidentiality and IP Agreements
  • Severance Agreements
  • Recruiting Arrangements
  • Benefits Summary
  • Benefit Plans
  • Compensation Policy
  • Bonus Plans
  • Stock Option Plans
  • Stock Option Awards
  • Pension Plans
  • Employee Litigation
  • Judgments and Awards
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Investigations
  • Headcount
  • Suspended Employees
  • Dismissed Employees
  • Absentee Reports
  • Disabled Employees
  • Employee Policies
  • Hiring Policies
  • Changes to Employee Policies
  • Employee Loans

  • Environmental Summary
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Enforcement Actions
  • Environmental Reserves
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Regulatory Correspondence
  • Material Losses
  • Audit Results - Environmental
  • Environmental Reports
  • Off-site Liabilities
  • Environmental Permits
  • Storage Tanks
  • Waste Management
  • Employee Safety
  • Employee Litigation
  • Audit Results - Safety
  • Accidents
  • Workers' Compensation Claims
  • Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Emergency Response Procedures

  • Audit Results
  • Property Tax Summary
  • Tax Returns
  • Correspondence with Taxing Authorities
  • Tax Sharing Arrangements
  • Deferred Taxes
  • Tax Policies
  • R&D Credits
  • Tax Assets
  • Sale and Leaseback Transactions
  • Overseas Tax 
  • Base Cost Adjustments
  • Tax Planning
  • Employment Taxes

  • Address any remaining areas with questions
  • Perform post-project review

Initial requests solicit general information to provide a broad overview of the target and it's business and operations and planning is customizable to meet the specific circumstances of your M&A deal. This M&A spreadsheet helps to turn effort into results, for yourself or your organization, by making everything a little easier to increase your productivity! Especially, if time or quality is of the essence, this ready-made worksheet certainly helps you out! Just download this file directly to your computer, open it, modify it, save it as an XLSX or PDF or print it directly.

You will see that finishing such an Excel spreadsheet has never been easier and a great way to increase your performance.

Download this Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Master Planning Excel sheet now!


Nothing on this site shall be considered legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established.

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Beware of any enterprise requiring new clothes. | Henry Thoreau