|By Business Wire||
|April 30, 2014 01:05 PM EDT||
SRS|Acquiom today announced the launch of Acquiom|Clearinghouse™, the industry’s first M&A payments administration service that is completely online. Acquiom|Clearinghouse reinvents how acquirers disburse merger consideration to selling shareholders in private M&A transactions by allowing paperless and easy submission of all materials and fast payments. Buyers fund one account and are done. Sellers use simple online forms and get paid quickly. M&A attorneys have satisfied clients and no headaches. All at low to no fees.
“The M&A payments process hasn’t seen innovation in decades,” said Mark Vogel, co-CEO of SRS|Acquiom. “It is burdened with tedious and annoying tasks and paperwork that produce delays, errors, and bottlenecks. Acquiom|Clearinghouse eliminates the hassles and makes the payments process easy and quick for parties on both sides of the deal. M&A payment administration has finally gone online.”
“Slow payments is a huge hidden inefficiency in M&A,” said Paul Koenig, co-CEO of SRS|Acquiom. “The annual opportunity cost in the U.S. for participants in private M&A transactions is $5 billion. Acquiom|Clearinghouse solves this; we’ve paid 80% of merger consideration on the day of closing, compared to an industry norm of 6-7 days later. Merger parties and their attorneys no longer have to suffer the pain and hassle of mailing forms back and forth, filling out paperwork by hand, hoping they can still find their stock certificate from years ago and dealing with the numerous errors that inevitably result from completing the process the old way. By moving M&A payments administration online, we’ve made it fast, simple, and hassle-free.”
"M&A deal technology has evolved, but some aspects of the deal process haven’t changed for decades. The payments process is one of those areas,” said John Hughes, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Chair of the ABA’s Subcommittee on Private Equity M&A. “Services like Acquiom|Clearinghouse show what technology can do to make the deal process more efficient from both an economic and practical standpoint."
Acquiom|Clearinghouse allows individuals to confirm their security holdings without mailing paper stock certificates. “Many think online LOT submissions are not possible due to the perceived requirement that original stock certificates be returned,” said Steven O. Weise, Partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, and a leading authority on the Uniform Commercial Code. “In fact, UCC § 8-207 provides all the protection the parties need to avoid the hassle of finding and submitting paper stock certificates and the costs of surety bonds when a stock certificate is lost."
Acquiom|Clearinghouse offers these benefits:
- Fast. Payments take hours not weeks. Over 80% of merger consideration has been paid on the closing date. For parties submitting a timely and complete letter of transmittal, the result has been 100% paid on the first possible date.
- Better Economics. Shareholders’ money doesn’t sit idle. Less time is spent on administrative tasks. The costly transaction processing fees of current methods are eliminated. In most cases the whole service is offered at low to no fees. And, the economics get even better when combined with one of the Enhanced Escrow Solutions distributed by Acquiom.
- Easy. Buyers simply fund one account and then receive daily reports. Shareholders fill in basic information online and e-sign instructions — all on an intuitive user interface. Attorneys deal with fewer administrative hassles. Acquiom|Clearinghouse also quickly distributes third-party vendor payments out of merger consideration, such as those for legal and investment banker fees, or for debt obligations due at closing.
- Greater Reliability and Accuracy. Because shareholders submit and validate instructions directly into the payment system there are no transcription errors. Often a source of complications, a redesigned online Letter of Transmittal (LOT) is intuitive and much easier to complete.
- Secure. Information is protected using state-of-the-art multi-factor authentication and sophisticated risk monitoring analytics.
- No Paper. It’s 100% online and environmentally friendly. There is no mailing of paper documents back and forth, including stock certificates.
- Expert Service. The experts at SRS|Acquiom understand “M&A hours.” Merger parties get full support from start to finish.
The economics get even better when merger parties choose one of the Enhanced Escrow Solutions distributed by SRS|Acquiom. These offer enhanced yields, reduced fees, and a greatly streamlined process when purchased in combination with Acquiom’s payments administration services — often enough to cover the attorneys’ fees and the transaction costs of doing the deal. Going with traditional escrows is leaving money behind for no reason.
“Once they see Acquiom|Clearinghouse, strategic buyers, along with private equity, venture capital, and other selling shareholders, won’t want to do it any other way,” added Vogel.
SRS|Acquiom is the global leader for managing administrative needs in private M&A — innovating new ways to complete transactions that help merger parties to close more efficiently and economically. The affiliated SRS and Acquiom lines of business deliver industry-leading shareholder representation, payments administration, and escrow solutions with a senior-level team of M&A experts, attorneys, financial professionals, and operations and systems experts. SRS|Acquiom has been engaged on 600 M&A transactions comprising $95 billion in aggregate deal value. For more information: srsacquiom.com.
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