What are the top M&A Deal Failures?

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    Jeff Sewell

    As part of trying to understand how to help deals succeed I’d like to know what this group thinks are the top deal failures over the last 10 years? What was the primary reason for deal failure?

    Hedwig Duronic

    I think one of the main deal failures is when no effort is done to do cultural integration. A lot of all integration efforts is about people, if they feel valued and heard they will be willing to support integration efforts which will lead to a successful integration in the end.

    Teresa Drew

    Another top failure is lack of a dedicated PMI manager, and as a result lack of follow-through. This links to cultural integration, which has a longer timeline than other integration, but also impacts a functional integration sections. Without giving the PMI PM sufficient time to focus on the new acquisition, they will not thrive. This creates a downward performance cascade where you will lose key staff and the business unit will lose clients/revenue.


    Lack of clarity in strategic focus and non-communication of leadership team on the new acquisition. That coupled with slow and “percevied unnoticed” layoffs or hiring freeze does not help.


    I believe that top failures can be summarized as follows (not an exasutive list):
    a) Cultural Misalignment
    b) Inadequate planning
    c) Communication problems
    d) Human capital challenges
    e) Technoligy integration issues
    f) Overstatement of synergies
    g) Cost overruns

    Jessica Lee

    Great question! The primary reason for these failures often boils down to poor cultural integration. Despite financial and strategic alignments, the inability to merge organizational cultures, align leadership, and manage employee expectations led to conflicts, reduced morale, and unsuccessful integrations.

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