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.


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 […]

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 […]

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

A New Thinking On Due Diligence

Capstone Webinar: A New Look at Due Diligence

Join me for a webinar on “A New Look at Due Diligence”  on August 22. Too often due diligence is treated as a checklist of chores. In this webinar, I advocate a new thinking that makes due diligence an integral part of the entire acquisition process. Date: Thursday, August 22, 2013 Time: 1:00 pm EDT […]

Apple Slow Growth

What Apple’s Slower Growth Means for You

Apple’s growth has slowed significantly. USA Today reports that its gross margin dropped for the fifth straight quarter to 36.8% of sales and that iPad sales are down by 16%. Apple CEO Tim Cook has recognized Apple is in a mature, slow-growth market.  If a company that grew steadily through the recession and whose stock […]

Healthcare M&A will grow

Healthcare M&A Can Only Grow

Two major hospital acquisitions announced this summer will result in huge hospital networks and likely create pressure for other hospital deals.  Tenet will buy Vanguard Health for $1.73 billion and Community Health will buy HMA for $3.6 billion. Combined with Vanguard Health, Tenet will become No. 1 or 2 in 19 key markets, including San […]

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 […]

DuPont to Divest

Growth Through Divestment: DuPont May Sell Chemical Business

“Growth” is not what typically comes to mind when we hear a company is selling a part of its business. Our natural intuition is to think growth is simply about getting bigger. But growth is about more than expanding – it’s about recalibration. Economies and markets continually change and, at times, contraction may be the […]

Go-Shop Clauses

To Shop or Not to Shop?

I typically advise my clients to have a binding no-shop in the Letter of Intent. This will ensure that the seller cannot try to find a better deal somewhere else, once the LOI is signed. Sellers may insist on including a go-shop clause, which provides a certain period of time (usually around 50 days) to […]

Due Diligence Is More than a Checklist

Due Diligence: More than Just a Checklist

What comes to mind when you think of “due diligence”? Most people picture an army of lawyers and accountants who pore through financials and company records after the letter of intent is signed. Once they uncover the significant risks, the deal is renegotiated based on their findings. But due diligence is more than just a […]

The Loblaw Companies to acquire Shopper Drug Mart

The Loblaw Companies to Acquire Shoppers Drug Mart

The trend of consolidation continues. Just one week after Kroger announced it would buy Harris Teeter, there’s another big deal in the grocery industry.  Canada’s number one grocer, the Loblaw Companies, announced it would buy the top pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart, for $11.9 billion in cash and stock. It’s likely this acquisition is a direct […]

Kroger Buys Harris Teeter

Kroger Acquires Harris Teeter to Attract High-end Market

Big news from the grocery sector:  Kroger will buy Harris Teeter for $2.5 billion following the trend of consolidation in the grocery industry. Earlier this year, Empire Ltd, the owner of Canadian grocery chain Sobeys, bought Safeway’s Canadian business for $5.7 billion in a “game changing” deal. As the supermarket industry becomes more competitive, companies […]

Uncover Liabilities Early in the Acquisition Process

Uncovering Liabilities Early On

The message I want to share with you here is simple but critical: start your due diligence early. In fact, start it the moment you begin the acquisition process. Conducting due diligence uncovers liabilities or hidden problems that can decide the success or failure of an acquisition. This could include issues such as past litigation, […]

Brother In Law Companies

Researching “Brother-in-Law Companies”

As I head off to celebrate July 4th with my family and friends, I’m reminded of what we call “brother-in-law” companies.  In some ways, the close relationship between family members can resemble the relationship between a buyer and an acquisition prospect. These “brother-in-law companies” are prospects that a CEO believes are a great deal because […]

How to Buy a Not-for-Sale Company: Sell Your Vision

How to Buy a “Not-for-Sale” Company: Sell Your Vision

As an M&A consultant, I’m often asked exactly how we persuade the owners of not-for-sale companies to sell.  My years of experience speaking with owners and facilitating acquisitions makes the process easier, but the real secret is understanding owner psychology. In contacting an owner, you can’t lay out a detailed acquisition plan. The key is […]

How LOI can Save Your Deal

How a Letter of Intent Can Save Your Deal

About 70% of completed acquisitions fail, and even more attempts at M&A fail to reach a deal. Part of the challenge is the mix of buyers and sellers who envision dissimilar outcomes. In the pursuit of a deal the two sides have different goals and different perspectives. As in a house sale, buyer and seller […]

How to Grow Your Company During a Recession

American individuals and corporations are playing it safe, according to  The Wall Street Journal, contributing to a slower employment rebound:  “[After the recession] of the early 1990s, it took 32 months for payrolls to rebound fully. After the even milder recession of 2001, it took four years. Today, nearly four years after the end of […]

Google to Acquire Waze

Why Google Wants to Acquire Waze

There are many reports that Google will buy Israeli mobile traffic app Waze for $1.3 billion. This acquisition would allow Google to solidify  its dominant position while actively preventing Apple or Facebook from acquiring the technology. If you have the number one product or service, one way to keep your customer base is by keeping your […]

Seal the Deal M&A From LOI to Close Webinar

Seal the Deal – M&A: From LOI to Close Webinar

Signing the Letter of Intent is an important milestone in the M&A process, but it is by no means a guarantee of a successful acquisition. Increase your chances of closing the deal. Join me for a webinar this Thursday, June 13 on “M&A: From LOI to Close.” After completing this webinar you’ll be able to: […]

IBM Salesforce SAP Cloud

Deals in Cloud: IBM, Salesforce & SAP

The future looks cloudy. IBM, Salesforce and SAP all announced big deals in cloud this week. IBM announced it would buy Softlayer, a cloud computing company, in a deal estimated to be worth $2 billion. IBM plans to use Softlayer to bolster its cloud services in a growing market. Salesforce announced it intends to buy […]

China's Shuanghui to Aquire Smithfield

Why China’s Shuanghui Is Buying Smithfield

Chinese firm Shuanghui International Holdings announced its intention to buy Smithfield Foods Inc for $4.7 billion. The total of the transaction, including debt, would be $7.1 billion. That’s big news for M&A watchers in the food industry, an arena that has captured my attention since my firm managed the acquisition of shrimp specialist Empress International […]

Facebook walks away from Waze

Facebook Says No Waze

Yesterday, we learned that Facebook’s bid for Israeli startup Waze has ended. According to reports, negotiations broke down over disagreements on moving the Waze team from Israel to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook was rumored to be in talks to buy Waze for $1 billion. This is a great example of why it’s […]

List of Companies for Acquisition

Why You Don’t Want a List of Companies

I was on a call with a prospective client when he asked a question I frequently hear: “Will we get a list of companies we can look at to acquire?” It’s a common misconception that your objective in hiring an M&A consultant is a long list of for-sale acquisition prospects. I strongly caution against this […]