Business Intelligence, How Can It Help You When Selling Your Business?


Gilles Gallina
Cristal Credit Europe Ltd 

When you start working with a new partner, do you check them out first?  Maybe you want to better understand a competitor.  What if you are looking to sell your business – would you want to check out the potential buyer’s background?  If so, what resources do you use?  It is relatively easy to check using Companies House or maybe you rely on a credit insurance company.

Companies House only provides the facts that a company has posted themselves; and for the UK only.  With credit insurance companies, their role is to cover a default risk, not to provide you with detailed information.

You could rely on your network, but how will you differentiate between true information and gossip?  How will you cross check that the information is correct?

This is a where a professional business intelligence company can help.

A good business intelligence company will have a wide network of trusted contacts and carry out an in-depth investigation across all aspects of a company and it’s trading activities.

As an example, here is a brief summary of what an investigation revealed (from one of our latest files):

Our customer: a French retail company.

The target: a French individual living in Argentina.

The case: Our customer wants to implement a retail network in Argentina. The target has proposed his services.

Question: Is the target reliable?

We first collected information from open sources. We learned that the target had already been involved in 3 different companies, which had all been cancelled by the state because of a missing ‘good standing statement’.

Then we investigated further into his background and found out he had been involved in several investment projects.  Two of them were particularly significant.

The first one was about the opening of a bakery school.  The ovens ordered were never claimed at the customs and the money invested by a group of hotels never found again.

In the second one, he was the head of an accounting office belonging to an international accounting group.  The target managed to convince his holding company that the staff needed to be paid in cash.  From our research it appears that a great part of the cash ended up in his pocket.

Finally, the target also pretended to be active in a French political party in Argentina.

Again, thanks to our extensive network, we learned that he had no responsibility in the management of the party and that the board would be happy to have nothing to do with him.

The upshot of this investigation was that our customer decided to look for another partner.

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