Author: Carlos Keener

[caption id="attachment_263" align="alignleft" width="150"]Distressed M&A Part 1[/caption] Distressed businesses have usually bagged all the low-hanging fruit in their previous attempts to save their business. This leaves the hard work to the acquirer. Picking up the pieces may be easy; getting them back into a working state is a challenge. That’s why they're cheap.  Unless the value centres around untapped capabilities only you can exploit, the safer guide is that the lower the deal price on offer, the harder it may be, ultimately, to deliver results with the acquisition. This series of articles (3 parts) examines the world of distressed M&A.

[caption id="attachment_257" align="alignleft" width="150"]Good v bad acquisitions Honeywell - serial acquirer?[/caption] An interesting piece caught my eye: it's about Honeywell's approach to acquisition (read it here). They are evaluating about 100 potential acquisition targets and one of their criteria is how easy they will be to integrate. Businesses that undergo multiple acquisitions are often called ‘serial acquirers’, which has both good and bad connotations.   Good, in that if done properly it can be a strategic deployment of capital in order to obtain capability, market reach and process performance that all enhance value and shareholder confidence. Definitely not to be sneezed at.  Getting it wrong, on the other hand, can lead to a destruction of all this and the CEO’s career to boot.

[caption id="attachment_249" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dell M&A Dell - big M&A spenders - but good?[/caption] How does a business model change after an acquisition?  I was wondering about this in the light of a recent article on Dell’s buying spree (here) in which the success of its acquisition strategy was called into question.  For Dell, the strategic rationale for its M&A strategy has been to move it away from hardware to enterprise solutions.  So this means that Dell’s business model has to change – the way Dell generates revenue and the component parts of the company that support that.

[caption id="attachment_215" align="alignleft" width="150"]Culture; M&A; Integration To see or not to see...[/caption] I saw this case study about cultural fit in an M&A by Mary Teresa Bitti – the company in question is Vancouver-based The Little Box Company. It’s great to read a case study where cultural considerations are a key part of an acquisition strategy. All too often it’s in the bloody aftermath of why it didn’t work, or return the value expected, that ‘cultural incompatibility’ is cited as a main factor.

China M&AAccording to figures compiled by consulting firm DC Advisory, China has now overtaken the UK, Canada and Germany to rival Japan and the US as the nation with the world’s most acquisitive companies. Significantly, the report suggests that alongside the well-known tale of breakneck growth and increasing consumerism, “China is attempting a huge shift from an order-taker to an innovator, producing leading technology and infrastructure for both domestic and global markets.”1 What does this mean for ‘Western’ entities intending to join forces with a new Chinese parent company?

[caption id="attachment_152" align="alignleft" width="106"]Successful M&A secrets; mergers and acquisitions PART FOUR - FINAL PART[/caption] This is the concluding part of a series of articles by BTD Founding and Managing Partner Carlos Keener Study after study still puts the failure rate of mergers and acquisitions somewhere between 70% and 90%. Some however have managed to turn acquisition and integration into a true competitive differentiator. What makes these firms consistently successful at M&A, and what can the occasional acquirer learn from them? In conclusion, here's a quick checklist:

[caption id="attachment_198" align="alignleft" width="150"]Integration and Leadership United Leadership - vital to successful integration[/caption] M&A only works if management get behind the heavy lifting of integration, change and performance improvement post-close. Dig beneath any ‘failed’ integration and you will almost invariably find a leadership team that is confused, disillusioned, distracted, or simply unaware of what they are expected to deliver, and why.

[caption id="attachment_177" align="alignleft" width="150"]Logic and Emotion in M&A You need them both![/caption] Last week I heard Tony Blair talking to a packed gathering at Chatham House put on by the organisation Business for New Europe. Their aim is stop politics getting in the way of exploiting UK trade with the rest of Europe – vital, given its value of £600 billion per year.

[caption id="attachment_152" align="alignleft" width="106"]Successful M&A secrets; mergers and acquisitions PART THREE[/caption] This is a series of articles by BTD Founding and Managing Partner Carlos Keener Study after study still puts the failure rate of mergers and acquisitions somewhere between 70% and 90%. Some however have managed to turn acquisition and integration into a true competitive differentiator. What makes these firms consistently successful at M&A, and what can the occasional acquirer learn from them?

[caption id="attachment_115" align="alignleft" width="150"]HP Autonomy comment Why didn't they understand each other?[/caption] What a glittering array of advisers were on hand to take HP and Autonomy to completion in August 2011. Barclays Capital and Perella Weinberg advised HP and for Autonomy it was Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, UBS and JPMorgan Chase. Did any of them see any signs that the relationship would crumble in the way that it has?