Assembling the Divestiture Team:
Divestment of a business requires a team of functional experts under the direction of an experienced project manager. The first and foremost action that is to be taken after reaching the decision to divest pertains to the selection of the project manager. Along with general management skills, the project manager must also be knowledgeable in the tasks and techniques necessary to bring about a successful divestiture. People possessing these types of skills usually reside in the corporate development function. Corporations devoid of a formal corporate development activity may find qualified divestiture managers within the financial, legal or corporate planning departments. The appointment of an internal project manager and core team is absolutely critical even in those instances where an investment banker or some other intermediary is engaged by the corporation to assist in the divestiture.
Assembling the core team is the first task of the project manager. The composition of the core team will vary depending on the specific nature of the divestiture and generally includes someone who is extremely knowledgeable about the business being sold and from the corporate financial function. In this case practical, close association of a member of the corporate legal staff with the activities of the core team from the very beginning of the project will facilitate preparation of the offering memorandum, the negotiations and writing of the letter of intent and definitive purchase agreement. The core team will also need assistance from time to time during the project from other functional areas of the corporation, which may include the tax department, human resources, corporate communications, and the corporate controller.