Ensuring 1+1=3 and not 2 or 1

| By: Paul Dippell

Note: This is educational only. You must obtain professional advice when considering any M&A transaction.

It’s challenging to define your business strategy, determine the extent to which buying (or selling) a company should play a role in that, and if so, then finding, qualifying, negotiating, and closing an M&A deal. These are often perilously close to make-or-break activities that can demand a CEO’s full attention, regardless of other demands on their time.

But the fun doesn’t stop once the deal is closed!

Once you buy a company—and often even if you’ve sold your company—the work starts: post-acquisition integration.

The failure points of M&A deals have been studied across multiple industries, and the single biggest factor that determines whether Buyer (and often Seller) attain the goals they have for the transaction is the success of the integration of the two companies' operations.

For the Buyer, a successful integration is critical. It’s often critical for the Seller, too, for several reasons:

  • Perhaps some of the value of the deal is contingent on the future performance of the assets
  • Even if not, and even if the selling shareholders aren’t joining the new company, they often care deeply about the fate and destiny of their valued former customers and employees

The good news is, as with most things in business, there are known best practices for post-acquisition integration. At IT Nation in November, Arnie Bellini and I will be discussing these best practices in a live taping of our upcoming Path to Success webinar.

Here’s a brief outline of what Arnie and I will discuss, in addition to taking your questions:

  • What are the biggest risk points?
  • What are the critical success factors for good integrations?
  • When should I start planning for the integration?
  • When do actual integration activities begin and end?
  • What’s the right sequence and timing of integration activities?
  • What are the milestones and metrics to gauge whether an integration is on track or going off track?
  • Who should be on the integration team from each side? What should be done with their other responsibilities?
  • How do you know when you’re done?

Join Arnie and me for this practical deep dive into post-acquisition integration, and more safely avoid the pitfalls and ensure the success of your strategy after the deal is done--that’s when the real fun begins!