Popping the Cork After a Successful Merger

Building Competency in a Merger or Acquisition-Part 4: Execution/Integration-The Final Step in the M & A Process

 

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Strategy—Author’s note: The activities that lead to the identification and ultimate execution of an opportunity are very intertwined and subject to continuous learning and improvement. With that in mind, I will summarize four main activities in the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) Process Lifecycle over the course of four different articles as follows:

 

After the lead up to a Merger or Acquisition (as discussed in parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series of articles), work still remains to be done. In fact, the execution and integration of a Merger and Acquisition effort is perhaps the most crucial part of the process. If properly executed, it allows both companies to pursue both their own and their shared business objectives with few operational interruptions.

Execution/Integration

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) execution (or “integration”) represents the most critical, complex facet of a successful acquisition program. It’s the process where business models, systems, people and cultures blend in pursuit of a new set of opportunities.

It must be orchestrated with precision and intensity, while still allowing the integrated entities to execute on their existing and new business objectives. Even more attention and focus should be placed on this aspect of M&A than the others we’ve already discussed, given the amount of capital and other resources that will be expended.

Overseeing Integration

Success in integration requires, under the leadership of the transaction’s main sponsor, early participation of the individuals that will oversee the integration of customer opportunities, people, products/technologies and operations.

Early formation of the integration team allows for much of the integration analysis to take place during the due-diligence phase of the transaction process.

During this phase, and prior to final negotiations, integration teams can determine and organize around the detailed success factors that support the major objectives of an acquisition or investment. As a result, the teams can develop an integration plan with a better understanding of deal-specific issues, structured in such a way as to maximize the probability of success.