I had scanned the internet and blogland as much as I cared to and still not found any kind of satisfactory forum for dialogue on the subject of acquisition integration. Even the integration-related groups on LinkedIn seemed pretty inactive or, well, sort of lame. So I launched The Merger Verger to lay some observations and opinions out there and to see who and what came back.
This is important stuff folks; a lot of shareholder value hangs in the balance.
- When should the integration process start in a deal? Just as importantly, how long should it go on?
- Are finance and accounting types – many of whom number-paint their ways through life – the right ones to lead an integration process?
- Are CEOs and CFOs really beginning to get the need for integration analysis in the deal planning stages?
- Is integration still too “soft” a process to have the power to kill a potential deal-from-Hell before it happens?
- What responsibility does (or should) an investment banker play in incorporating acquisition integration into the structuring and pricing of a deal?
- Are due diligence checklists useful aides or just CYA tools that discourage actual thinking?
- And when all that information is collected, what’s the right thing to do with it? How often does due diligence information get collected with the result merely being a check mark in some box?
There are hundreds of giant companies out there that have well-developed systems for managing effective integrations. This blog is not aimed at them; it is aimed at the thousands of smaller companies who do not do acquisitions every day but who could benefit from the thinking and experiences – good and bad – of others who have been through the process many times before.
So, Greetings. I am always open to others’ ideas or suggestions for topics and, of course, welcome comments and dialogue. Thanks for reading The Merger Verger.