An article in the ACC Docket, Vol. 30, Dec. 2008 at 50, describes how Fairmont Raffles Hotels International used an online data-room from IntraLinks to enable potential purchasers to carry out their due diligence. More than 150,000 pages of documents were made available to hundreds of reviewers. The article touts nine benefits of an online, secure document repository, eight of which I summarize below.
- Saves time assembling the documents as compared to using binders, since you don’t have to
- Saves time and money on scheduling slots for due diligence, since users have continual access from anywhere
- Improves the quality of work life for users, since they can logon from anywhere at anytime
- Keeps documents secure, such as with a document locking and protection feature
- Gauges buyers’ interest, because the software can track how long a user is online and what the user looks at
- Manages access, since there are methods to restrict certain users to specific sets of documents
- Keeps documents current, since the owner of the data-room collection can swap out old documents for more recent ones and add to the collection at any time
- Facilitates final disclosure, since it is relatively easy to burn all the documents to DVDs and create a permanent record of what was turned over for review.
On the other hand, the article does not fully explain the cost of the platform, the time and effort (and cost) to publish the documents, and the different security risks posed by an online site.