“We had a look at it and we thought that's exactly what we needed given we had global transactions." Richard Richards, CFO, Seven Group Holdings, former GGM Finance at Qantas.
Qantas & British Airways Case Study
Richard Richards, chief financial officer Seven Group Holdings, began using Ansarada data rooms shortly after their inception in 2007 when he was GGM Finance at Qantas. Shortly after Qantas and British Airways announced they were in talks to merge and dual-list, a plan subsequently abandoned.
Introduced to the Ansarada data room through a KPMG connection. “We had a look at it and we thought that’s exactly what we needed given we had global transactions concerning big organizations with 30,000+ employees and operating in 56 countries.
We didn’t have the technology in-house to cope with the exchange of documents.
There was a large volume of information. The data room allowed us to put in a structured format and also to manage Q&A and manage the bankers. And that also meant that we got a very good understanding of everything that was going on through that process, whereas I think historically the real power of the banker through that process was the banker usually controlled a lot of those attributes.
By controlling the data room, we got to see a lot of that information first-hand and be able to control it.
We had also been working on the presumption that just password-protecting documents gave you a level of encryption and prevented the inappropriate exploitation of information and content.
I think what we realised going through some of these processes is you actually need a higher level encryption. You need to understand who’s downloading what. You need to be able to embed names, and dates, and things in documents when they’re printed. Some documents you want people to have read-only rather than printing access. So you know, at that point in time, mere password protection really wasn’t appropriate for some of the things that we were doing.
Having a data room that allowed you to track who had what, where, why and when through differential access so that people could read them, print them or make comments on them with much higher levels of encryption, certainly gave us more comfort.”
On using Q&A in an Ansarada data room:
“It allows you to be a bit more disciplined around that process rather than having ten people shooting off emails and asking questions.
If you’ve got questions in relation to specific topics you can go through and require people to build their questions against areas. It’s then very easy to allocate responsibility back to team members on your side. It also means you can restrict the access in your data room to your team as much as to third parties. So if you only want people within your organisation to have limited access to some attributes of a transaction, then you know that’s far easier to manage within the constructs of the data room.”
Former GGM Qantas 1998-2008