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jerryking : bolt-on   1

Engineer a smooth takeover with five proven tips
https://hbr.org/2007/09/rules-to-acquire-by

09-17-2007 The Globe and Mail by Schachter, Harvey
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS - Taken from "Rules to Acquire" By Bruce Nolop, of Pitney Bowles. FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2007 ISSUE of the Harvard Business Review.

A close look at the world’s most successful companies reveals that, in general, they rely heavily on acquisitions to achieve their strategic goals......acquisitions can be faster, cheaper, and less risky than organic expansion. It’s a seeming paradox, until you realize what’s going on: Some acquirers have figured out how to do it right. Many have not.......Pitney Bowes embarked on our acquisition program.....they believed that they should develop a disciplined approach to making acquisitions and learning from them as an organization......More than 70 acquisitions later, they have a process firmly in place.......What’s behind the program’s success? ....a due diligence checklist that now covers 93 separate points of concern.....and a few key guidelines.

* Stick to adjacent spaces

Too many companies reach far afield when making acquisitions......Pick acquisition targets that are logical extensions of your company's current business mix, so they can be taken on incrementally. Such additions take advantage of the organization's tacit strengths - management know-how, customer insights, and cultural orientation - that are often ignored by more grandiose strategists. And they keep your brand consistent...... a 2001 McKinsey study: adjacent acquisitions correlate with increased shareholder value, whereas diversification into non-related areas actually reduces shareholder value. ....Profit from the Core author Chris Zook, looked for patterns in 2,000 companies’ growth initiatives and concluded that adjacent moves were the most successful.......Q: Can you really add more value to the target company than any other acquirer can?

* Bet on portfolio performance

Manage acquisitions like an investment portfolio, trying for multiple smaller acquisitions rather than one or two gargantuan bets. He notes that a Bain & Company study found the economic returns from acquisitions are greater if the purchase represents 5 per cent or less of the acquirer's market capitalization - so smaller is better. A portfolio approach keeps acquisitions to manageable size and hedges the risk that any one will go awry, producing more predictable financial results over time.......The classic benefit of a portfolio strategy, whether for acquisitions or any other type of investment, is that it produces more-predictable financial results over time.

* Get a business sponsor--No exceptions!

A clearly defined leader has to be personally focused on executing the business plan for the acquisition, assuring revenue targets and those often-elusive cost synergies.

That sponsor must drive the behind-the-scenes infrastructure projects that are essential to operational success, such as the integration of IT systems and HR policies, and develop strong relationships with the newly acquired management teams to ensure talent retention.

This can't be left to a corporate development group - it must be in the hands of an individual who is held personally responsible for the acquisition's success, and who reports regularly to the CEO and the board.

* Be clear on how the acquisition will be judged

You need to know exactly what you are seeking - what do you mean, exactly, when you talk of growth potential, or market development, or near-term synergies? For bolt-on acquisitions, which neatly fit into a business or market, financial returns should be more short term, while it will take longer for those benefits to accrue when the acquisition is a platform that takes you into a new, albeit still adjacent, business space or activity.

* Don't shop when you're hungry

What applies at the supermarket applies in corporate acquisitions. If you buy when you are hungry, you're likely to grab more than you need and be less price sensitive. On a strategic level, hunger can occur when you are seeking a missing element that you feel is urgently needed. Also problematic are acquisitions made to compensate for poor performance in existing operations.
adjacencies  bolt-on  buying_a_business  buyer's_remorse  CAMEX  checklists  Chris_Zook  clarity  due_diligence  emotional_discipline  growth  guidelines  Harvey_Schachter  HBR  leadership  M&A  McKinsey  mergers_&_acquisitions  metrics  organizational_learning  paradoxes  Pitney_Bowes  platforms  portfolio_management  process-orientation  rules_of_the_game  tips 
march 2009 by jerryking

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