The Point: Visualize a scenario where you buy a used car… There were test-drives available, you could examine both interior/exterior, even seek assistance from a trained mechanic to help assess the performance/stability of the car. Now, irrespective of all due diligence, the real fact is, whether you made a good purchase or otherwise, you will get real evidence after the purchase is made once you start riding around in it over time. Mergers &acquisition deals also have the same route and challenges – you can examine the existing business based on visible financial numbers, assumptions of potential fitness and advisory assistance from M&A advisors. With all these though, it’s only when all deals are made and the business needs to be moved forward that reality sets in – the dreaded difficulties and challenges may arise. In this post we’ll talk about what makes most mergers and acquisitions difficult to operate successfully… Enjoy!
Why Most Mergers & Acquisition Fail
Most people have read studies reporting the failure of most acquisitions to provide shareholder value – yet there have been an increasing M&A market with frothy valuations, not lacking willing buyers to venture.
A purchase with a high price often increases the task of creating a higher value. For the last decade, it has come to the understanding of many buyers that value is created from building real business value and NOT just from mere clever financial engineering and opportunistic buying.
Acquiring growth from new markets, customers and products are the major purpose for most mergers & acquisition – for profit maximization through the strategic potential of a deal. But are most firms really getting all of these? Statistics have confirmed it not to be the case. Discussed below are the reasons why executing M&A successfully can be difficult.
Top 3 Reasons Why Successfully Executing M&A is so Difficult
Reason #1: Not Executing the Integration Process
The post-merger integration has been a major challenge for many mergers & acquisitions deals. In order to identify crucial projects or products, key employees and all sensitive matters, there must be a well structured appraisal process in place. With this in place, there should also be a design for efficient integration/adoption of processes that will be supported with automation, consulting and possible outsourcing alternatives (so as to avoid deal complexity).
Reason #2: When Owners are NOT Involved
Most of the time, a limited role is assigned to advisors until a deal is completed. With this being made known, newly acquired entities are onus of their owners (or without). There should be involvement from owners starting from the establishment of the deal, to how the business will run and should allow advisors to play a role assisting (if need be). This will have a lifelong benefit to the organization as the owner will benefit from the experience of gaining tremendous key knowledge/insight and the all too important ability to execute.
Reason #3: Assuming Optimism Blindly
It is very common for buyers to assume that a targeted company operates just as the way they do things themselves. It must be noted that there are a lot of different approaches of operational functions by which companies operate by. The integration team should account for these differences when plans are being made. They should consciously make the right assumptions rather than aggressive ones.
We’ve worked with a large client for several years now… While each has the same corporate logo hanging out in front of their business, each operates dramatically different from one another on the inside!
In this post we’ve discussed the topic of mergers & acquisition, and more indepth what makes M&A so difficult to execute successfully. From an outsiders seat there appears to be a need to enhance deal-making skills for acquiring a new business if lasting success is desired. A potential great company will learn from the three reasons given of mistakes made by rookies and improve, integrate the right process where owners will be involved, and consistently build capabilities needed for future growth.
PS – If you/your organization has challenges as a result of Mergers and Acquisition activity, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and request future post titles! Here are a few other titles that are currently in the works:
- Will Your M&A be a Success or Failure? 3 Tips!
- Disrupting Your Industry with Exponential Growth: How Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods Upended Retailer’s Strategic Plan
- Mergers & Acquisition: Should You Go for Stock or Cash?
- The Importance of an M&A Strategic Plan
- Mergers & Acquisition: Creating Shareholder Value
- Mergers & Acquisition – Six Diversification Questions
- Mergers & Acquisitions: The Future in the Old/New Economy
- How to Successfully Survive Mergers & Acquisition
- Mergers & Acquisitions: The Problem with Acquisitions