IG Design Group adopted Intralinks for secure and controlled sharing of confidential documents, ensuring smooth project management of its M&A pipeline.
Selling to over 160,000 stores worldwide, IG Design Group plc is one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers, importers and distributors of gift packaging and greetings, stationery and creative play products.
With four locations situated in the UK, including its corporate headquarters, the company also operates in China, Hong Kong, the US, the Netherlands, Poland and Australia.
IG Design Group acquired a number of businesses around the world between 1995 and 2009 and is looking to make acquisitions once again.
The company began the process of looking for new acquisition targets, leading to more information being shared across the group. Documents were exchanged over email and the latest versions were discussed over conference calls, with no easy way of controlling who received these documents and how they were shared. IG Design Group also collated key deal data in Microsoft Excel in an attempt to track its deal pipeline and report specific information to its board. However, this process became more time-intensive as the group ramped up its deal pipeline and there was no way for IG Design Group to control access to the files, or manage version control.
Mike Harris, the group’s IT manager, was charged with finding a solution that would allow sensitive information to be shared simply and securely between both internal and external users at scale, most of which pertaining to different targets.
IG Design Group considered buying or creating a form of intranet, as well as the use of Google Docs and Google Drive for hosting documents and reliably sharing them throughout the process. But, Harris wanted a more effective and secure solution to satisfy the group’s needs.
With its established reputation in managing M&A transactions and highly sensitive information, Harris decided to adopt Intralinks.
Well designed, easy-to-use and secure, IG Design Group determined Intralinks was a perfect fit for the company’s needs as it allowed documents to be shared securely without the need for email, and provided greater control over access to these confidential documents.
After a couple of test projects, IG Design Group rolled the solution out across the whole group successfully.
All documents pertaining to an acquisition are now held in one place, with access controlled by Harris and his team, bringing in third parties where appropriate and with only the latest version of any document live at any given time to prevent issues with version control.
Not only has Intralinks given the group’s finance team a greater deal of control over the M&A process, it has also caused a significant reduction in the emailing of sensitive documents. According to the group’s CFO, Anthony Lawrinson: “Not all of an email trail is confidential. Some documents, such as Companies House records, for example, are public. But there is a lot of information going back and forth that you wouldn’t want in the public domain.”
In addition, Harris’s team was able to easily import its deal information – and the custom data fields – from Microsoft Excel, enabling just one person to migrate the existing spreadsheet into Intralinks within just two days of set-up. The team can now quickly and easily export the most up-to-date project information for the board on a monthly basis.