Expected synergies for M&A

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    For your industry, which area of synergy is typically prioritised when companies decide to make an M&A? Is there a typical trend for certain industries or does it differ by countries? To what extent are these expected synergies realised?


    Steve Schwarze

    I work for a very large international software company. I can definitely say that the synergy that is most sought after by our company is the acquisition of intellectual property with out the expenditure of R&D. We have acquired 19 companies in the past 2 years and all have been to bolster our technical portfolio either through the purchase of a development-only shop to add technology directly to one of our offerings, or through the purchase of a company who has a technology that builds a new element around one of our existing products. This has many inherent challenges around it, especially when it comes to expanding the technical audience that we reach. An example is an acquisition where we expanded our traditional enterprise-based infrastructure business by acquiring a company who develops software to support the software developer fields itself. These two completely separate audiences demanded that we create a synergy between our two products and ways of thinking to find a new, common audience we could both reach out to as new business.



    For my industry, it will be the synergy of operations, getting the plant manufacturing processes in place and ensuring safety measures are properly implemented.



    I work in the private banking industry.

    The key synergy would probably be around increasing the number of unique customers or markets/AUM between any merged entities.

    I do think the type of industry dictates/drives the specific dimension as to how you would see synergy, but ultimately they would all be for the purpose of achieving a larger profitability/revenue than the sum of its parts.

    To my understanding, assuming the usual objective is maximise profitability, I don’t think that metric differs by countries.

    As to whether the synergies are realised, I think it is highly dependent on the PMI strategy, and whether the assumptions to achieve the synergies expected are realised/hold true.

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