Have you encountered any major misses during integrations that you will never make again? Hindsight is 20/20, so I’d be curious to hear any examples of failings or missteps that would be easy to avoid. Here’s one I experienced: when harmonizing job titles, it became apparent that the salary bands of the acquiring company did not match the target company, as people were assigned “Junior” and “Senior” level job titles in the new HR system that did not correspond to their actual titles.
I remember back in 2015, our Group acquiring a very profitable, family owned and run business. A huge ‘miss’ during that integration was taking the time to understand the culture of the organization and how it would affect and/or be affect by the introduction of a parent company. Family owned and run VS billion dollar conglomerate. Needless to say, the integration journey was long and never truly yielded the profitability and industry standing that was anticipated.
I did not work on this matter, but a friend of mine advised on a $80M+ asset transaction. There were no culture integration concerns because they were merely buying the assets and would not continue to employ any of the workers.
However, it turned out that the party they were buying the assets from had fraudulently transferred them from another company. It resulted in a major lawsuit against the seller, buyer and advisory firm. It was a major legal DD misstep that could have been easily avoided by looking at the seller’s founding documents.
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