For companies new to acquisitions, is it best to dabble with a smaller company to ensure you learn / get the process right or to go for a specific, better suited target understanding your learnings with the latter could be costly (e.g., overpaying, missing a key liability)?
In the end, I think it’s about what fits the company strategy and LRP goals. Mix that with integration success risk. A small company that has more integration risk due to culture or other complexities may be harder to integration and realize value than a bigger target that has more synergies. Size may not always be the determining factor in the choice I submit.
I think it’s best to pursue the right target if it will actually help the acquirer achieve certain business goals. The acquisition must make sense from a business standpoint otherwise it’s a waste of time and resources.