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2014 Legal Awards | 21

not all are frequent acquirers or restructurers, these companies nonetheless actively scan the market and manage their pipeline of targets. They are focused on constantly improving their M&A process – and Midaxo is their tool of choice. Challenging Misconceptions Midaxo believes that removing the obstacles to establishing and joining a shared end-to-end M&A process enables collaboration, efficiency, and higher quality – resulting in measurably better business outcomes. “There is value in capturing synergies earlier, ensuring comprehensiveness in due diligence and running a streamlined integration effort,” says Kaija Katariina Erkkilä, founder and CEO. “At the same time, mistakes in M&A are costly, delays are detrimental and non-compliance could land a CEO on the front page of the Wall Street Journal!” Prior to forming Midaxo, Kaija Katariina lived and worked in the US, and has spent 16 years working in the corporate world and 12 years as an M&A consultant and author of M&A books. “I saw that M&A was a poorly organised process,” she says. “I realised the processes were very, very limited. I felt bad about the waste of money, energy and human resources.” Kaija Katariina believes there are many misconceptions about M&A including the idea that M&A is an “event”, rather than a process. She emphasises, “If there is no organised process, then the transaction and the integration are not being properly carried out.” She began looking for alternatives to the typical tools used during the M&A process such as spreadsheets and email. Existing programs designed for managing M&A all required programming experience. “It has to be intuitive because M&A work is often added to already-full schedules,” she says. Enter Kalle Kilpi, a software entrepreneur who founded two companies offering business information services and company analysis products for over 7000 clients. Kaija Katariina and Kalle meet for the first time at an IMD Alumni event in 2007. Kaija Katariina then joined Kalle’s enterprise as an investor and eventually the idea for Midaxo was born through their work together.

“We’ve built a tool that’s easy, fun and intuitive to use,” says Kalle. “With the Midaxo platform, we help our customers define their M&A process clearly and execute it efficiently.” The two-tiered platform has a configurable pipeline and integrates full project management capabilities. “Having everything stored on a robust platform with flexible and specific access rights increases security tremendously compared to using email and other typical tools,” says Kalle. Looking Ahead It’s been a very successful year for Midaxo, culminating in the firm being named Global M&A Software Solution of the Year in the Acquisition International Legal Awards. On receiving the award, Kaija Katariina says, “We are excited that M&A practitioners achieve immediate and substantial results with our platform. We love the stories of how our clients manage a pipeline of hundreds of targets, how they expedite capturing synergies, how they efficiently engage their teams and advisors, and how they constantly improve their end-to-end process. “We are proud to set the benchmark for M&A platforms, and thank Acquisition International for the honour.” Out of all of Midaxo’s successes and high-profile endorsements, Kaija Katariina says her biggest achievement during the last financial year has been, simply, proving that Midaxo works. “We’re still at the start-up phase,” she says, “but people are confident in what we’re doing.” She also adds that Midaxo has no plans to slow down and that the company will expand over the coming year, specifically in the US market.

It has to be intuitive because M&A work is often added to already-full schedules.

Midaxo features and functions cover the entire M&A process.

Legal awards 2014