Client interview with In Extenso
Marc Sabaté, CEO at In Extenso Finance & Transmission
1. When/for what purpose do you use a data room?
In Extenso Finance & Transmission are specialist consultants for property sales, M&A transactions, MBOs and financing, mainly for SMEs, their shareholders and directors. We are the leading French facilitators in the small market, i.e. transactions valued at between EUR 1-50 million. Over the past ten years, we have carried out almost 700 transactions, of which 60 were concluded in 2018. In this context, our company uses several Drooms data rooms to ensure the complete security of the huge volume of information that we manage in a fast, simple and efficient way. Beyond this, data rooms allow us to control the diffusion of information we hold, users can consult only the documents which their respective group is authorised to view, as defined by us.
2. What are the biggest advantages of using a VDR in your case?
Using a data room obviously allows the transactional workflow to be managed with greater efficiency, in particular, by avoiding work silos. When the purchaser has completed the due diligence process, an offer can be made. In order for this to happen, the potential purchaser(s) need to be able to access the data quickly and from any location. For example, with property sales, all the documents describing the company must be available and clearly listed. The advantage of working with a data room is that the data already available internally, can also be made accessible externally to a purchaser in just a few clicks. In effect, the data room allows In Extenso to appropriately manage the relationship, firstly between In Extenso and its client and then, between In Extenso and the purchaser(s).
3. What module do you use the most and why?
We mainly purchase data rooms via the online shop for the purpose of preparing early stage transactions when relatively few people are involved. As soon as the transaction demands more personnel, we take the “Corporate”/ “Enterprise” solution with all the modules that genuinely add value to the transaction lifecycle. In both cases, the modules we find most useful are the activity reports. We can see which documents have been viewed (or not) and by whom, either the purchasers or the auditors, when this took place and for how long. This is certainly an advantage in terms of transparency and efficiency, especially when it comes to managing negotiations.
4. What features do you find most practical or innovative?
Beyond the user activity reports, automatic indexation really saves time: a simple drag and drop function enables files to be transmitted from computer to data room, where they are subsequently and automatically indexed and arranged in sub-files. In this way we can be sure that the architecture of our database system will be replicated in the data room. This avoids any duplication of our preparatory work. The Q&A function is also extremely practical when wanting negotiations to progress in a timely manner, saving money in the long-run for all stakeholders involved.
5. What advice would you give to a beginner using a VDR?
Data rooms are mostly intuitive and do not require special expertise. However, a useful piece of advice would be to make sure you have defined the user group authorisations correctly before sending out invitations to access the data room during the preparatory phase. In effect, once a user is connected, it is always a rather more delicate operation to have to retrospectively change permissions before justifying to the party concerned why a document to which they previously had access to, is now hidden from view.
6. Would you recommend Drooms?
We switched to Drooms for our data room requirements for the many reasons outlined above (intuitive system, control, speed, etc.). However, another major benefit of Drooms is the level of client support available. Multilingual project managers who are well-versed in the working conditions of our sector are accessible around the clock. Above all, they are able to quickly generate DVD or USB copies of the data room that are conveyed to the various stakeholders involved after deal closure.
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