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Merger Acquisition Integration Best Practices

A well-planned merger acquisition integration process helps you realize a greater percentage of the value of your deal. This is a complex process that requires the right mix of organizational, operational, finance, change-management and cultural capabilities to succeed. Those who get it right can earn up to 12 percent higher total dividends to shareholders than those who don’t.

The company that is acquiring must start thinking about integration as soon as it is possible during the diligence and negotiations phases. A thorough evaluation of the target culture can help shape your strategy for due diligence, top-management meetings and the initial planning for integration. In one healthcare acquisition, for instance, managers used their initial knowledge of the culture of the target to make strategic decisions about assessing synergies and structuring teams for integration. They took tactical decisions, like limiting the number of people attended the initial meetings, and limiting the number functional areas.

One of the most common practices we observe in successful large mergers is an organized procedure for capturing synergies. This means putting line managers in charge of their objectives and holding them accountable for their results. It also means including synergies in leaders’ annual operating plans and budgets.

It is crucial to have an integrated management team for the post-close integration phase, which could be up to two years. This team must have the power to act quickly and have access to all relevant information.

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