Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook

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Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook

The buy-side M&A process is difficult at best. It’s one thing when sell-side M&A advisors constantly serve up nicely packaged opportunities, each with a well-written, insightful confidential information memo (“CIM”) that makes a strong case for you to buy. But if you are searching for a unique target that has specific acquisition criteria, it’s an entirely different process. Because you don’t know your ideal target yet, you don’t know where valuation will land. You also don’t know what the deal structure will look like, so you need to plan your buy-side M&A strategy carefully, planning for financing an acquisition.

If you are acquisitive, but don’t have dedicated in-house people that run your buy-side M&A process full-time, you may consider what to expect from your M&A advisor. Solid preparation in advance of early discussions with prospective sellers is key to making sure you are prepared for financing an acquisition. After all, total enterprise value isn’t clearly determined until every last deal term is agreed to and closed on.

Let’s get back to the process by starting at the beginning. That is assimilating the facts about the target, or selling company. The goal is to collect the relevant facts regarding prospective targets’ respective infrastructure, market presence, supply chain and financial performance. One way to organize this information is to use a CIM Questionnaire.

Even if you don’t write a full blown Confidential Information Memorandum for each of your prospective targets, you will need to analyze characteristics of choice, financial performance and relevant KPIs to identify potential synergies and other efficiencies. One useful tool for this is a Financial Planning and Analysis report.

When all the effort pays off and buyer and seller agree to valuation, terms and structure the acquirer has to come up with the agreed upon currency. Most commonly, its cash. The thing is we ask for sources of acquisition cash be included in the Indications of Interest (IoI) so we know if financing an acquisition is a contingency.

Finding a viable acquisition target is one thing. Finding synergies and other ways to create value through optimized M&A integration is a whole other level of complexity.

Curious about business valuation?

We developed a comprehensive merger and acquisition integration playbook for acquisitive strategic and financial buyers. Our Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook provides a top down, sequential overview to enable maximum value creation when evaluating potential targets, identifying synergies and integrating ongoing operations post acquisition.

The Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook includes the following topics:

  • Planning & Guidance
  • Organization Structure Impact
  • Identify Key Business Objectives
  • Pre-Acquisition Preparation
  • Acquirer’s Internal Organization Analysis
  • Target Evaluation & Analysis
  • The M&A Transaction
  • Post-Acquisition Integration & Reorganization
  • Financial Planning & Analysis

This 72 page Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook outline provides acquisitive organizations a thorough M&A process to ensure high productivity through the strategic growth process. Here’s a preview, enjoy the read:


 

Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook Sample

 


 

There are two categories of business growth: (i) organic and (ii) strategic. Organic growth is internal, using your own resources to achieve sales for a new business, product or service. Strategic growth is accomplished by acquiring an ongoing business, adding it to your core operations. M&A integration, or how an acquisition is integrated into your existing organization and financial picture is a different topic altogether. This is the purpose of our Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook.

Nevertheless, the build versus buy question arises in many situations.

The Purpose of the Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook

Identifying viable acquisition targets, contacting them appropriately and building rapport based on trust, confidentiality and professionalism is a challenge to say the least. So how do acquisitive organizations, private equity groups and other buyers make it happen? With experience and a  thoughtful approach to connecting with prospective sellers and a clear understanding of how to get a deal done efficiently. Nobody wants to invest a ton of time if both sides aren’t on the same page. The Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook address identifying synergies, approaches to valuation and transaction structuring.

As a buyer it is critical to establish common ground with prospective targets to have an effective discussion. What does this mean? First, provide some background on the acquiring company and the acquisition rationale. Include references to years in business, revenue scale, number of employees, brand recognition, etc. Second, share what target characteristics are most important to you. Third, share your M&A experience to build confidence. Lastly, point out the relevant KPIs and other accretion minimums you are looking to achieve. Then you can ask them for financial and other confidential information.

Successful buyers often run multiple parallel buy-side acquisition processes. Getting M&A deals done is difficult work and takes a lot of time. Our Merger and Acquisition Integration Playbook was designed to assist buyers by laying out the process from start to finish to save time and money.

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