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Unboxing M&A Success Factors

BloggausMidagon always looks for ways to balance our practical experience with scientific research. Continuous hands-on experience in client projects is essential and defines us as leading experts and practitioners. However, challenging our thinking with high quality impartial views adds considerable perspective.

For our most recent research project, we wanted to know what exactly, in light of the best and most up-to-date research, made M&As succeed or fail. We knew already that the right skills and experience in the implementation team, especially in ICT integration, can make a huge difference in the benefit realization of an M&A transaction. However, we also suspected that this might be a limited view. Our research partner Deduktia helped us to commission Professor Angwin, the Dean of Nottingham University Business School and a top researcher on M&A, to carry out a research review on M&A success and failure factors. 

Last week I had the privilege to “unbox” the results of this research collaboration. The research report identified several ground rules for successful integration, starting from the logically obvious but in practice not always straightforward “don’t pay too much”, and continuing through the process to “strategic due diligence” and “timely integration planning”. In addition, identifying the appropriate strategy (absorption, preservation, symbiosis, intensive care or reorientation) for the specific transaction came across as a critical decision point for the M&A transaction leadership.

Another key message was the careful linking of pre-acquisition strategy with post-acquisition integration. This cannot be emphasized too much in practice. There is often a wide gap between M&A strategy and the practical implementation work. As a result, the original strategic focus is obscured by real-life challenges.

This is a very crude summary of an involved research project. There is much more to discuss and reflect on. We will share much more of this research report during the upcoming year. This will be done both online and at an invitation-only event for our customers, where we plan to showcase both real-life M&A cases and academic research findings. Please let us know if you want to be in the loop. We look forward to sharing new M&A success stories.

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