Our client, a US pharmaceutical company, was moving into a new therapeutic area by acquisition.

As part of their due diligence, the company needed to understand the competitive landscape of their acquisition target – something the target itself had never properly analyzed.

Aqute was tasked with answering three key questions:

  • What is the technical performance of competitors’ products?

  • How do they price their product?

  • How effective are the competitor’s salesforces?


Trawling technical data

In the first phase of the research, Aqute distilled dozens of technical papers, clinical trial results and conference posters to summarize what was publicly known about the products. To reinforce these findings, we contacted hospitals and private medical practitioners, and patient advocacy groups, providing qualitative color to the technical data. 

The results highlighted the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various companies, including to what extent the market was aware of the relative performance of the drugs on offer. 

To understand how each competitor’s salesforce operated, how they were perceived in the market and how effectively they were selling, Aqute started with a sweep of secondary sources, including the LinkedIn profiles of sales employees and discussions in online forums of the sales practices used by competitors. This information helped us outline the structure and size of each salesforce.

Aqute also surveyed 50 hospital employees, such as purchasing managers and department heads, who had relationships with the competitors, drilling down into the sales process used, and how hospitals felt about the service they received.

Using these findings, Aqute provided the pharmaceutical client with a clear idea of what they would be up against if they acquired the target.

A better-informed acquisition

With Aqute’s research feeding into the due diligence process, our pharmaceutical client was able to make a better-informed decision about its acquisition. An adjusted valuation helped the client acquire the target company at the right price. Knowing how competitors were operating, and what their limitations were, meant that our client could ramp up sales efforts quickly and in a targeted manner.