We know that the M&A process can sometimes be a daunting process for those who have never attempted it. But luckily for you, we are seasoned experts who throughout our careers, have helped many businesses successful manoeuvre and succeed through the merger and acquisition phase. If you are preparing your business for something similar, we’ve put together 6 tips on how to help yours be a complete success.
- Be clear on what goals and motivations for the sale
Setting yourself a clear set of goals before undertaking any type of corporate change, you put yourself in a better position to successfully see that change happen. So before making any key decisions to sell your business, or merge with another, ensure that you take the time to understand exactly what this picture looks like, beyond the price tag. Understand what this looks like for your personal career, your team’s future, your market presence and future strategy. If you don’t yet have an acquirer in mind, then take the time to think about what you’d like that Buyer to look like. Take the time to think about the importance of maintaining a solid corporate culture, and consider how that may change through the M&A process.
- Get organised
The M&A process can sometimes be a long and complex process, and even more so if the company acquiring your business is a publicly trading organisation. But don’t let that scare you off – by getting stuck into some of the hard work ahead of time you are more likely to see a smoother, and perhaps quicker, transition period. Get involved in collating and preparing your company’s financial reports, history timeline and basic in-house administration like clearing up any outstanding issues. And if you’re not sure what this entails, then look at appointing an expert, like CFPro Ventures, to work with you through this process.
- Understand the emotional journey
This is a personal, and often emotional, journey for those involved in a M&A. We get that. Your business is a successful high-growth organisation quickly picking up momentum, and is already resonating with the who’s who in the industry. But take a step back just for a moment, and think about the picture painted by this article in the Ivy Business Journal. Throughout the M&A process, you and your organisation, will be on a change experience journey – whether you are furiously negotiating, focusing on compliance and due diligence tasks, experience the highs and lows of negotiation, perhaps sometimes feeling confused throughout the process and eventually making peace with the fact that you are satisfied with what has been agreed and negotiated, you let go just enough before a new business identity comes into being, and change experience presents itself again. And for some organisations, this may take up to 12 months – for complex agreements, even more. It’s at exactly this time that you need to rest on your support network – be they internal to your organisation, or an outside expert council, to work with you, and for you, in order to give you back your enthusiasm and capacity to get excited about the next phase of business you’re about to enter.
- Surround yourself with the right team to support and guide you
Mergers and acquisitions typically involve a substantial amount of due diligence by the buyer. Before making any types of commitments, they would want to know exactly what they are purchasing, and what their long-term obligations will be. Ordinarily, this includes extensive research into the target company’s liabilities, intellectual property issues, troublesome contracts and any other areas of concern.
- Be wary of potential conflict of interest areas
Although, as the leader of your organisation, you may be inclined to be chief negotiator and process manager, consider the implication of being too close to the agreement. In fact, according to JP Morgan Chase & Co, 2016 saw the highest number of M&A withdrawals since 2008 partly relating to heightened regulatory pressure. And if you founded your business, and successfully built it up to where it is today, then all the more reason to engage with a trustworthy partner to negotiate on your behalf – someone who is slightly removed from the organisation directly, but who vehemently represents your case to result in a successful negotiation – allowing you to focus on the strategic next steps and new identity about to be formed.
- Know your Story
Preparing for any big change in an organisation is tricky enough, without trying to imagine just how much is going to change – and there’s no truer tale than trying to identify what your organisation will look like after a successful M&A. The building of a clear, concise corporate story is anything but a one-off project. The fundamentals of a solid corporate story are that it needs to be consistent, authentic, and compelling, so make sure that you take the time to work with your team of experts to work with you to ensure that you have a credible story to tell post acquisition.
If you are looking for help to move your high-growth business through to it’s next growth stage, then speak to us today.