Ebner Stolz9 January 2015
Corporate consulting firm Ebner Stolz uses Intralinks to securely control and accelerate M&A involving mid-cap companies.
Ebner Stolz is one of Germany’s largest auditing and corporate consulting firms, focused on the segment of the country’s mid-cap companies called the “Mittelstand.” The company’s 1,000-plus professional employees work from 14 offices through Germany. Additionally, Ebner Stolz is a corporate finance advisor in mid-cap transactions. To offer cross-border services, the firm also participates in the Nexia International network of independent accounting and consulting companies.
As part of its operations, the Ebner Stolz M&A team advises clients for both buyside and sell-side transactions. To make its processes more secure and efficient, the M&A team decided it needed an online virtual data room (VDR), and adopted Intralinks.
The Ebner Stolz M&A team now relies on Intralinks to increase productivity during deal preparations and speed up the negotiations. But security is also crucial. “In our business, trust is an important currency, as we are usually dealing with highly sensitive client information,” says André Laner, manager at Ebner Stolz. As he explains: “We have to make absolutely sure that no document falls into the wrong hands. We really appreciate that Intralinks takes a 360-degree approach intralinks.com toward security.”
Because of its enterprise-level security and ease of use, Intralinks has already benefitted Ebner Stolz. The solution allows the M&A team to conduct its business over organizational boundaries, without compromising control capabilities, Laner says.
Intralinks has a streamlined user interface that end users can quickly adopt. This applies even to younger users on the team who have no prior experience with the VDR. “The real benefit to us is that Intralinks is an easy-touse system,” as Ebner Stolz Managing Director Michael Euchner points out. “The training usually takes no more than an hour and then people are able to administrate the data room by themselves.”
There have been productivity gains. Intralinks is a valuable platform for managing files and setting up the VDR, explains Laner. “The uploading of data is much more convenient than with some other data room providers I’ve used. You can make your own data room off-line. You can put your documents in folders, and with the Intralinks Designer tool, you can upload everything and it will be available the way you first organized it.”
Also, Ebner Stolz uses the VDR to discreetly measure the interest of parties during negotiations. This also allows the Ebner Stolz team members to respond accordingly. “We especially find the tracking function to be one of the most valuable features,” says Euchner. “We can get a clear view of what individual investors are searching for, which documents they are reading, and what might be the next issue we need to talk about.”
“Last year, we had a project where there were about 20 investors in our data room,” Laner recalls. “We were told that one investor was very interested and had done a lot of research. But when we looked at the tracking tool, there was actually no activity at all. We could then focus on the serious investors instead. Intralinks helped us confirm that we had the right priorities.” There are financial advantages to the VDR, as well. “Intralinks’ prices and service are very attractive,” says Euchner. “For our typical transaction, our VDR cost savings is up to 25 percent.”