David Braun


David Braun is the founder and CEO of Capstone Strategic and author of Successful Acquisitions: A Proven Plan for Growth. His specialty is helping companies grow through acquisition.

Through consistent focus on this one specialty, David has built up a formidable expertise that has led to an acquisition success rate way beyond the industry average.

David Braun is a sought-after educator who has been teaching senior executives and financial professionals for over 21 years. His live seminars and online webinars are in high demand, and his blog is widely read by M&A professionals, business owners and all who wish to understand the dynamics of growth through company acquisition.


Market Criteria, Market Research

Markets First

I always emphasize to my clients the critical value of painstaking market research and selection before considering individual prospects. Simply by conducting thorough research, you immediately separate yourself from the majority of company buyers and place yourself at an important competitive advantage. Choosing Market Criteria Choosing the correct market criteria may be tricky. Here are […]

Pathways to Growth

Five Pathways to Growth

As you focus your attention on the growth of your company, there are five key pathways to consider: Grow Organically Exit the Market Be the Low-Cost Provider Do Nothing Pursue External Growth Before you even start planning an acquisition, remember there are other growth options available. It is an important realization that you do have […]

Cultural Integration Publicis Omnicom

Publicis-Omnicom Merger May Face Cultural Integration Challenges

The merger between two advertising giants Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group has caused quite a stir. The two companies combined to form Publicis Omnicom Group would have stock-market value of $35.1 billion, making this the largest advertising merger ever. Although Chief Executive Maurice Levy and CEO John Wren both stress this is a “merger of […]

Recent Posts

Nestle Sells US Chocolate Business – 3 Lessons for Middle Market Buyers

Nestle Slims Down, Sells US Chocolate Business – 3 Lessons for You

Nestle is selling its US chocolate business, which includes brands such as BabyRuth, Butterfinger, and Crunch to Ferrero for $2.8 billion. The deal is part of Nestle’s strategy to sell underperforming brands and refocus on healthier products and fast-growing markets. Nestle recently acquired vitamin maker Altrium Innovations for $2.3 billion and is rumored to be […]

3 Reasons why M&A may be the best option for growing your company

3 Reasons Why M&A May Be the Best Option for Growing Your Company

Are you missing out on opportunities for growth?  External growth, where you partner with another organization outside of your own, is often a neglected opportunity. External growth comes in many forms including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, minority interest, and can be tailored to suit your needs. Here are three reasons why external growth […]

M&A in Review 2017

M&A in Review: Top Posts from 2017

2017 has been an exciting year. From regulatory changes to tax reform, to the economy, navigating the business environemnt has been filled with ups and downs. Despite this, 2017 was a strong year for M&A activity, especially in the middle market. In light of the volatility, companies turned to smaller deals rather than larger transactions […]

Hershey Campbell Acquire Healthy Snack Brands to Follow Customer Demand

Hershey, Campbell Acquire Healthy Snack Brands to Follow Customer Demand

Customers are one of the strongest forces affecting your business today and in the future. Your company’s long-term success depends on their sustained demand for your products and services for years to come. Two recent acquisitions demonstrate the strong pull of customer demand in shaping company success. In the past week both Hershey and Campbell […]

What Keeps You Up at Night Advice for Family-Owned Businesses

What Keeps You Up at Night? 5 Tips for Family-Owned Businesses

All business leaders face the stresses of leading an organization; but owners of privately-held, family-owned businesses are in a unique position. Not only do they need to balance the rigors of running a company, defending market share, and dealing with regulatory issues, they must also simultaneously deal with family dynamics. Imagine having the dynamics of […]

Mars makes minority investment in kind

Mars Makes Minority Investment in Healthy Snack Maker Kind

Sugar is not so sweet anymore. Blamed for making people sick and causing obesity, consumers are turning to healthier options and governments are trying to curb sugar consumption. Faced with these market dynamics, Mars recently announced it has made a minority investment in Kind Snacks. Kind’s products are made without artificial ingredients and include bars, […]

Are You Hiking Without a Map Why Your Company Needs a Strategic Plan

Are You Hiking Without a Map? Why Your Company Needs a Strategic Plan

Think back to a time before we all had smartphones and could look up any piece of information on the fly. Not so long ago, we had to plan our trips by doing research ahead of time and using paper maps for directions. Even now, if you travel somewhere without cell service, for example, a […]

Grow or Die! Exploring New Pathways to Success

Grow or Die! Exploring New Pathways to Success

How is your company growing? In business, remaining static is impossible, and if you’re not growing, you are dying. I recently spoke on the concept of “Grow or Die” at the Association for Dressings and Sauces Annual Meeting in Nashville, in light of the trends and evolving market dynamics of the industry. The food and […]

Lessons for the Middle Market from the AT&T – Time Warner Deal

Lessons for the Middle Market from the AT&T – Time Warner Deal

396 days. One year and one month. That is how long it’s been since AT&T first announced it would acquire Time Warner for $85 billion on October 22, 2016. As the AT&T – Time Warner deal languishes in the courts, I am again reminded of the advantages that privately held middle market companies have when […]

Why Acquire 8 Common Reasons to Buy

Why Acquire? 8 Common Reasons to Buy

Acquisition can be an exciting tool for growing your company, but before pursuing a deal, it is important to ask, “What outcome do you hope to achieve from M&A that you would not realize otherwise?” There are a variety of reasons to acquire and although each company’s situation is different, most deals fall under one […]

Helping Clients Implement Their Dreams Blog Post

Helping Clients Implement Their Dreams

Back in 1995 I started Capstone with one reason in mind: to help companies grow. Company growth is my passion and I’m always excited to be a part of clients’ growth stories and see them achieve their dreams. Company growth is about more than helping an organization become larger. Successful companies have very real and […]

What Happens After You Sign a Letter of Intent

What Happens After You Sign a Letter of Intent?

Getting both buyer and seller to agree to and sign a letter of intent (LOI) is a critical milestone in the M&A process. The LOI provides the basic guidelines for the deal moving forward: It outlines major issues like fundamental terms, price, agreement on major business points, and sets forth buyer exclusivity for a period […]

Department Stores Go Out of Style: Lord & Taylor Building to Sell to WeWork

Department Stores Go Out of Style: Lord & Taylor Building to Sell to WeWork

Hudson’s Bay, the parent company of Lord & Taylor, announced it would sell the iconic fifth avenue store to co-working startup WeWork and Rhone Capital LLC for $850 million. The price is a 30 percent premium over the value of the real estate when it was last appraised in 2016. Lord & Taylor will rent […]

Are you missing out on the best opportunities for growth

Are You Missing Out on the Best Growth Opportunities?

Many companies may miss out on growth opportunities, including acquisitions, if they do not reassess their strategy in light of today’s economic environment. According to an article in CFO Magazine, a number of companies are not executing acquisitions because they maintain a high hurdle rate, even though the cost of borrowing capital is relatively low […]

What Role Do Lawyers Play in Mergers and Acquisitions

What Role Do Lawyers Play in Mergers and Acquisitions?

In merging two distinct companies there are many legal technicalities that need to be reviewed to finalize the deal, so it’s critical to hire an attorney to help cover your bases. Lawyers typically assist in drafting legal documents like the letter of intent and acquisition agreement, and even employment agreements to keep key employees at […]

David Braun High Level Wisdom Podcast

The Inside Scoop on Mergers & Acquisitions – David Braun on the High Level Wisdom Podcast

I recently the opportunity to speak about my experience as a CEO and company founder on the High Level Wisdom Podcast with Chris Williams. During our conversation, we discussed how companies can grow through strategic mergers and acquisitions and as well as tips for success for leaders. Listen to my interview on the High Level […]

Ikea Buys Freelance Platform TaskRabbit so You’ll Never Have to Assemble their Furniture Again

Ikea Buys Freelance Platform TaskRabbit so You’ll Never Have to Assemble Their Furniture Again

If you have ever purchased Ikea furniture, you understand the struggle of trying to assemble it. The “simple” diagrams are not easy to follow, some of the screws or nails go missing, and sometimes the piece falls apart after you finish building it. Ikea is hoping to solve this problem for future buyers with its […]

Buy vs. Build? How to Know Which Solution is Best

Buy vs. Build? How to Know Which Solution is Best

Should you acquire a company or develop your own solution? This is a question many leaders wrestle with when considering the best path forward for their company; however, there’s no one answer since every company’s situation is unique and each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a moment to explore these two pathways […]

Acquiring A Short Cut to Research and Development

Developing a New Product or Service? Consider Acquisition

96 percent of businesses fail within 10 years. 80 percent of consumer products fail annually. Statistically, it’s obvious that launching a new product or service is challenging. Entrepreneurs pour their lives into starting their companies and while some of the lucky ones become the next Facebook, most struggle to succeed. Even large established corporations face […]

Nestlé Bets of Fast Growing Markets with Sweat Earth and Blue Bottle Coffee Deals

Nestlé Bets on Fast Growing Markets with Sweet Earth and Blue Bottle Coffee Deals

Nestlé is scooping up two brands in fast growing markets to expand its product offerings in North America. The Swiss company will acquire Sweet Earth, a maker of plant-based foods, as consumer demand for natural, organic and healthy food grows. Nestle expects the market to reach $5.21 billion by 2020. Based in Moss Landing, California, […]