How to Create the BEST Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM)

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How to Create the BEST Confidential Investment Memorandum  (CIM)

Sell-side advisors can sometimes miss the basics when building a CIM or pitchbook. 

While each company conducting an M&A process is different, most CIMs follow a structure that is expected by professional buyers.

Professional buyers have come to expect a certain layout and order to the contents of confidential investment memorandums.

The typical CIM consists of at least 17 coverage areas,  each explaining a different part of the opportunity, company or transaction.

These selling documents always start with the presentation of an Executive Summary, which highlights  the transaction at hand and summarizes the main selling points and high-level areas of interest needed to orient to the opportunity.

Modern CIMs should present financial information as part of a story line, not as an afterthought.

Craft the story about an opportunity, that the buyer didn’t know existed.  

Remember, CIMs do not need to answer every question a buyer could have.

The most important thing that a company can do is offer an honest look at the business.

Outlining areas of both strength and weakness, let investors and buyers know where they need to put the work in, and whether it's doable transaction.

While we all agree that CIMs are selling documents, taking an approach where weaknesses are hidden  or the entire story is not told only creates distrust and complicates an already technical and often stressfull process.

Here are the key areas to cover:

-Business overview or executive summary

-Strategic considerations specific to the technology, company position

-Transactional overview

-Company history

-Core competencies

-Expansion and growth opportunities including market analysis

-Sales and customer information

-Products and/or services overview

-Ownership details, cap table details

-Management and employees

-Financial information summary

-Operations -Facilities

-Industry overview


-Trade associations

-Financial statements/Financial modeling

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