Last edited 21 Oct 2016

Corporate finance

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In the UK, the term 'corporate finance' generally refers to transactions in which capital is generated in order to create, develop, expand or acquire a business. It is typically associated with a corporate transaction that results in a revised equity structure or shareholder base, an ownership change in a business, along with the related issue underwriting, purchase or exchange of equity (and related warrants) or debt.

A corporate finance may be part of the following activities:

Mergers and acquisitions:

  • Formulating an acquisition strategy, assessing targets and funding an acquisition.
  • Undertaking negotiations with vendors and due diligence.
  • Provision of advice on tax and the commercial aspects of deal structures.
  • Implementation of a post-acquisition plan.

Management buy-outs/ins:

  • Undertaking an assessment of the viability of a management buy- out proposition and business plan.
  • Business valuation, deal structure, securing finance and tax planning.
  • Project management of the transaction.


  • Preparing the business for sale and developing an exit strategy.
  • Undertaking research and making confidential approaches to potential buyers.
  • Negotiating and project managing the transaction.
  • Providing taxation and financial planning advice.

The range of roles involved in corporate finance might include:

  • Corporate finance advisers – generally working within an investment bank, accountancy/professional services firm or an independent advisory firm. Individual's may work as consultants.
  • Reporting accountants – accountants that work for the buyer, business investor or specialist investment fund to verify that the accounts of the target company are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Lawyers – providing specialist advise on corporate finance transactions.
  • Private equity providers – professionals involved with buying/selling/provision of finance to businesses.
  • Debt providers/bankers – Specialists who are involved in corporate finance transactions.
  • Brokers – provide advice on and assist with raising capital for transactions.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has a corporate finance faculty and is a large professional membership body that supports chartered accountants around the world.

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