Eight Key Considerations for M&a Integration

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Eight Key Considerations for M&A Integration After setting new highs in 2004, mergers and acquisitions activity is continuing to build, buoyed by a strengthening economy. But, Wharton School thought leaders warn that even in a boom market, companies need to focus on the fundamentals to help ensure the success for their M&As. Harbir Singh, lead faculty member of Wharton Executive Education’s Mergers & Acquisitions program has noted that, “It’s not so much what you buy, but what you do after you bought it and how well you do it that matters in distinguishing failure from success.” He suggests that executives need to maintain a realistic outlook at the time of the initial transaction and during its subsequent integration. While each transaction has its own unique issues, following are eight key considerations in undertaking a merger and acquisition. Staying on top of these can help keep your company focused on the true strengths and weaknesses of the deal, instead of being distracted by extraneous issues. 1. Don’t Fall in Love with an M&A Candidate. If the fit isn’t right going into an M&A, nothing you can do post-M&A will improve it. Keep your eyes open and be realistic about a merger or acquisition candidate. 2. Inadequate Due Diligence. One of the “overlap” functions that applies to pre-M&A and post-M&A activity, it’s vital to understand the significant aspects of the target business. Inadequate due diligence can lead to overestimating or underestimating the synergies of the combination and the resources necessary to integrate the companies. 3. Unrealistic Expectations. This is a danger pre- and post-M&A. Going into the transaction, it can lead to an inflated acquisition price, while during the integration phase it can result in an under-allocation of resources, and an unrealistically short time frame allocated to integrating the components. 4. Failure to Integrate

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