What are your personal lessons learned from your first M&A experience?

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #72600
    Brandon Lau
    Participant

    What are your personal lessons learned from your first M&A experience?

    #72628
    Kevin
    Participant

    I have worked in the M&A space for several years now, and I have been advising, leading integration/separations as well. All of my experience has been advising other companies and specifically in the areas of technology. This past year I decided to acquire my own first business and learned that I need to review some of the contract challenges up front, specifically around tenant leases. I ultimately had to pay 10% increase in tenant lease and had I knew this prior to deal close I would like have passed on the deal. So a personal lessoned learned is get in front of the contracts early.

    #73188
    Nora Sophia Martin
    Participant

    Here are some lessones learned from my side:

    – Change management shouldn’t be just a work stream, it should be the basis for the project management team.
    – Employee Surveys should be conducted in all phases of the merger
    – The role of leadership/middle management should be highlited from beginning on, you need to push their commitment and engagement during the integration
    – All work streams, e.g. IT, HR, Legal need to be always in touch
    – I think M&As shouldn’t be organized as waterfall projects, a agile approach, e.g. SCRUM would be much better because of the complexity and dynamics

    #73243
    S Sarala Maharaj
    Participant

    Here are some of my lessons:
    1. Having a dedicated transaction team who are identified early, with clear responsibilities is critical – this ensures that tasks are completed and the “engine room” of the transaction is run from the same playbook
    2. If selling, you should understand why you are selling and what you hope to achieve, including timeline and price- it is important to spend some time to get to know your buyer/ potential buyer and their transaction team prior to agreeing a deal ( on price alone) as the culture of a buyer and their team’s approach can dictate how your transaction proceeds
    3. DO NOT allow yourself to be bullied
    4. Engage the correct management teams ( if buy or sell side) to support the transaction team. Ie. Give HR a seat at the table help advise on Pension matters or what medical or other benefits can continue post sale or are needed from day 1

    #73942
    Edel Tungehaug
    Participant

    These are my lessons learned from all my M&A experiences:
    – People are optimistic and have agendas and so their reason for buying a company will have influenced the business case, especially if they are not properly measured against its performance later.
    – People tend to think that things change automatically without changing a thing, i.e. synergies will flow to us just because we have bought a company (and we might get away with not really doing any kind of actual integration of the company)
    – We tend to talk about the importance of culture, key talent and softer issues, but we have no real way process of dealing with it
    – Setting up an IMO with a project team, develop plans, look at DD findings, measuring synergies – seems to some like a lot of work that is too much and believe that THIS is what will ensure the Target is overwhelmed and looses its focus. I’ve spent a lot of time to convince them that actually if you do not manage this properly, all those things will still be there and happen, but it will be ad hoc and uncoordinated, and THIS is what will make the Target suffer.

    #73953
    Mingmin Yu
    Participant

    Here are my lessons learnt:
    – Identified the scope and outlined responsibilities for each teammate is critical
    – Understand if the client has any agenda, as some clients may already have an answer in mind
    – Do not spend too much data finding a piece of data, discuss with the team and see if there is any other way to prove your point

    #74129
    Bill Balliette
    Participant

    Having conducted due diligence for a very small acquisition by myself (except for legal and accounting), I learned two main things:
    1) When a seller notifies of something he perceives as a problem, and you investigate it and decide it’s not that big a deal, make sure you discuss the issue with the seller again. Make absolutely sure you understand why they brought it up in the first place and why they believe it is a concern.
    2) If there’s something about the business operations that seem unusual, make sure you understand why they operate in that unusual way. Ask “why don’t you do this the way everyone else does? Understand what advantages and disadvantages they see from operating in this unusual way.

    #74398
    Chuck Adams
    Participant

    Having worked in buy-side M&A for a brief time, here is what I’ve learned thus far:
    – Truly understand the buyer’s intentions and investment thesis/goals. It will save you a great deal of time when identifying and screening targets.
    – As others have said, have all players, advisors, and deal team members identified with clear responsibilities early.
    – Always try to see things from the other side of the table (whatever side of the table you’re on); it helps with negotiating and understanding each others’ motives.

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