Does the ideal M&A Playbook really exist?

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    Kara Meisinger


    I’ve been involved with three mergers over the last two years for my company (two small <30 employees, one large 20,000 employees). During the large merger, there was a lot of discussion of the next one on the horizon and that we needed to develop an M&A playbook to have ready since the company we were in discussions with had done it successfully before, so we wanted to “show” that we knew what we were doing too. That merger fell through, but we know we still want to create a playbook for the next one – tools, templates, processes, etc. that you can take off the shelf and walk through. What does the ideal playbook look like? Is it a combination of all the different areas of the organization (ie. HR, IT, Finance) and they all use the same templates or does each department have their own? We started with HR Centralization, and now are moving into standardization (including due diligence 1 year post close…), but I can’t guarantee we will always integrate staff first, so how can you make it flexible enough for the unique items that come with the different M&A activity?

    Thoughts of what the “ideal playbook” could look like? What have you used in your organizations that’s been of benefit?

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