Many startups dream of going public, but, in today’s environment, being acquired is often a more likely (and in some cases, more desirable) exit for many companies, venture-backed or otherwise.  For first-time entrepreneurs, however, the process of getting all the way to the altar with a suitor may seem overwhelming.

To help you understand this process, provides an overview of the typical stages in an M&A transaction. Though the actual process may vary depending on the circumstances of any given courtship, most transactions have certain aspects in common.

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