Author: Carlos Keener

[caption id="attachment_152" align="alignleft" width="106"]Successful M&A secrets; mergers and acquisitions PART TWO[/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? A connected approach to M&A: beginning with the end in mind. Ability to buy does not guarantee readiness to own: never has it been more important to ensure before the deal is closed that integration can deliver the goods, and do so quickly without disrupting or burdening the wider business.

United Continental merger IT systems commentA few weeks ago United Airlines’ CEO Jeff Smisek announced that after a challenging 2012, “the road is repaired” and the majority of integration headaches are now behind them. Alongside labour issues and a challenging economic environment, one of the largest of these headaches had to do with the implementation of a common technology platform for their passenger booking and service system, SHARES. The cut-over to the new system last March caused serious disruptions to passenger operations followed by some of the worst flight disruption and customer complaint figures amongst US carriers this year (visit this link for more detail). With the technological issues largely resolved, United now faces an uphill struggle to regain customer confidence and reputation.