The buyer usually initiates contact with the target company. The best method for doing so is a direct call between the presidents of the two companies. This allows for a brief expression of interest, which can be discretely broken off if the target’s president is not interested. If there is some interest, then the presidents should meet for an informal discussion, after which their management teams can become involved in more detailed negotiations. If the buyer’s president has difficulty obtaining access to his counterpart, then it is best to only leave a message regarding a “strategic transaction” or “strategic alliance,” and wait for a response. Offering to buy someone’s company through a lengthy voice mail may not be considered a serious offer, and will be discarded. A formal letter containing a purchase offer can be misconstrued as notice of a hostile acquisition, and so is to be avoided.