How to rescue an acquisition after poor PMI effort?

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    Teresa Drew

    With importance of deep cultural due diligence often missed or minimized in the M&A process, many of us have seen acquisitions completed and then immediately start to slide and fail due to that lack of cultural focus by the PMI team. What are the best approaches to rescue a failed acquisition – assuming there is still a market/positive revenue potential?


    1) Assess the Damage – understand root cause for failure.
    2) Revisit the Integration Plan – review, adjust and improve.
    3) Leadership Alignment – gather management buy-ins, foster shared vision and commitment to success, address any conflicting priorties or power struggles.
    4) Cultural integration – KEY TOPIC – foster collaboration and mutual understanding.
    5) Talent Retention and Development – Retain, invest in training and creating positive work environment.
    6) Communicate and Transparency: Communicate openly with employees.
    7) Data and Systems Integration – harmonise financial systems and data, address any technical glitches or data inconsistences.

    Jessica Lee

    Hi Teresa,

    You’ve nailed a critical issue—cultural due diligence is often overlooked in M&A, and the fallout can be severe. To rescue a failed acquisition, starting with a thorough cultural assessment to identify misalignments is essential. Clear and open communication is critical, so re-establish transparent channels and regularly update everyone involved.

    Leadership must actively resolve cultural issues, demonstrating a commitment to integration. Aligning company goals and values can unify the direction and purpose of the merged entity. Targeted change management initiatives, like workshops and team-building activities, can foster collaboration and understanding.

    Creating opportunities for cross-functional collaboration helps break down barriers and builds a cohesive team. Continuous monitoring and adaptability are crucial—solicit feedback and make necessary adjustments.

    One example is Disney’s acquisition of Pixar. They successfully navigated cultural differences by prioritizing integration and collaboration, which turned a challenging merger into a thriving success.

    Rescuing a failed acquisition is challenging but possible with a strong focus on culture, communication, and leadership.

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