Capstone Strategic is the meeting point of passion and process in the field of mergers and acquisitions. Founded in 1995 by CEO David Braun, Capstone meets the unique demands of mid-market companies and their corporate growth initiatives. We help clients achieve their dreams through proactive strategic growth programs and successful acquisitions. Put simply, we help companies grow.


State of Midmarket M&A Q1-Q3 2014 Update: Capstone Report

Survey Shows Steady Growth in Midmarket Mergers & Acquisitions

Capstone’s State of Midmarket M&A Q1-Q3 2014 Update indicates a steady growth in midmarket mergers and acquisitions. We surveyed midmarket executives from multiple industries to learn how the first nine months of 2014 matched expectations from 2013, and to indicate any new trends in midmarket M&A. The survey was conducted in October 2014, and follows a […]

Healthcare 2013 Trends

Healthcare: 2013 Trends and 2014 Outlook

Strong healthcare M&A activity is predicted for 2014 as the industry faces market and regulatory changes.  Click on the infographic for a closer look at 2013 trends and 2014 predictions.

Capstone Webinar: Keys to Integration Success

Capstone Webinar: Keys to Integration Success Thursday, September 17, 2009; 1:00 PM ET Hosted by David Braun, Capstone CEO Join Capstone CEO David Braun as he leads a webinar on how to successfully plan and execute the integration of two companies. The closing of a deal is the fruition of months — even years — […]

Recent Posts

The M&A Power Shift Continues

Back in December, I noted (and agreed with) one author’s proclamation that in the current economy, the balance of power in M&A has shifted from sellers to buyers.  The main reason:  With the credit market in a crunch, cash is king, and cash-rich companies hold a distinct advantage. As these survey results show, this trend […]

John Dearing on "Inside Maine Business"

I recently appeared on Jacobson & Katz: Inside Maine Business to discuss the current state of the mergers and acquisitions market, as well as the Capstone approach to the M&A process. You can view Part One here: And Part Two, here: To see other episodes of Jacobson & Katz: Inside Maine Business, visit

Video: Why Do Deals Fail?

At a seminar on the M&A process, I discuss the most common reason that acquisitions fail – and it might not be what you expect: Have you been part of a failed acquisition?  What do you think was the main reason that it didn’t work? Let me know in the comments!

Out of the Present and Into the Future

With the shaky economy, I am constantly hearing clients talk about how to get through the tough times now.  While this is obviously a valid concern, I caution them not to forget about the future – specifically future demand. Future demand is king for reasons that are self-evident, once you pause to think about it. […]

Valuation ≠ Price

I wanted to post a quick note about the difference between the valuation of a company and the price that you pay to buy that company.  This distinction came up after a conversation I had the other day with an associate who had difficulty understanding why he was looking at paying a different amount for […]

Taking Control With a Minority Investment

Recent news indicates that the federal government will “prop up” the major banks if they continue to falter.  This has some worried that these large financial institutions will be “nationalized”.  The government says that this is not the case: The strong presumption of the Capital Assistance Program is that the banks should remain in private […]

Cutting Costs and Treading Water

I recently read an article through DealBook indicating that the Obama administration will increase antitrust enforcement during its tenure, raising the anxieties of many on Wall Street. In the big picture, I don’t think this increased oversight will have much impact on middle-market deals – after all, it’s usually only the really big deals that […]

Free Webinar: "Finding the Right Markets for Growth" This Friday

This Friday, February 20, I will be holding a free webinar on “Finding the Right Markets for Growth” at 1:00 PM ET.   You can register by clicking here. In these tough economic times, market research and selection are vitally important to position yourself for growth now and in the future. Capstone Program Manager Gretchen Johnson […]

Smart Research Tips For Buying Companies

Thorough market research has multiple benefits for the astute M&A operative. It sets you apart from other buyers by arming you with crucial information when approaching prospects.  It also constitutes one of the early steps in the due diligence that is part of any acquisition program. This is a vital consideration. The conventional concept of […]

Why This Market and Not That One?

When you’re going after an acquisition, you need clear and compelling reasons— not just for your choice of target company but for your choice of market. The only way I know to do that right is to define your criteria in advance. Needless to say, your specific market criteria will be driven by the unique […]

Acquisition Strategy: Market Choice

Before you look for a company to buy, you need to define the market where you will search your target. Why? The fact is that in almost every business situation, growth follows demand.  The reason you pick your market before you choose your prospects is to ensure there is a healthy, stable demand for your […]

Why Buy A Company That’s Not For Sale?

When you’re considering growth through acquisition, it may seem obvious to focus on companies that are actively searching for a buyer. In fact, this is the most common procedure, widely advocated by investment bankers. However, it is an approach that will severely limit your chances of finding the right company. For-sale companies are often “for […]

Acquisition or Strategic Alliance?

You could assume that as an M&A expert I’m in the business of acquisitions. But I prefer to say that I’m in the business of external growth. Sometimes, growth is served by taking other routes than acquisition. One of those can be a simple strategic alliance, which can play a useful role in expanding opportunities […]

The Five-Forces Model

When we begin work with M&A clients on their Growth Program Review we normally use Michael Porter’s model, the Five-Forces Analysis.  This shows the five key forces acting on a company’s destiny: Competitors, Customers, New Entrants, Substitutes and Suppliers. This model invites you to look at the pressures on your business from several key perspectives, […]

Your Company DNA

At Capstone, we talk a lot about “company DNA”. It’s a big focus when we are at the early strategic stage with a new client.  At the outset, we encourage them to ask themselves, “What’s our DNA?” The company DNA cannot be read off a nicely worded mission statement hanging in your reception area. It […]

A Case For Negative Thinking

I once had a client that made fish products for manufacturers who in turn created packaged delicacies for the end consumer. My client was tempted at one stage to drift into making consumer products themselves. But they had absolutely no experience or competence in this area. It seemed just a step away, but actually there […]

Finding Your Core

Here’s one principle that Capstone lives by in its work with growing clients. Before you go buying someone else’s company, be sure you fully understand your own. This requires asking a few simple but powerful questions, such as: “What is your core competency?” Companies, like people, often have mistaken ideas about where they truly excel. […]

The Funny Thing About Market Cycles

Why do stock market investors sell when prices collapse and buy when prices soar? Why do real estate owners display the same irrational behavior? The math is hardly difficult. It’s better to buy when valuations are low and sell when they are high. Yet human nature seems to require that we run with the market […]

External Growth: The Creative Approach

Officially, there’s been a drop of some 27% in M&A deals in the past year. In reality, this number is skewed by the large deals. In the markets where Capstone plays — mostly deals under $1 billion — there is a drop in activity but not to this catastrophic degree. There are still plenty of […]

When To Sell, Or The Lessons Of Procrastination

Here’s a recent exchange between the two principals in an acquisition we are advising on. Seller to buyer, “So what’s your exit strategy?”  An odd moment in the circumstances. Usually, the last thing M&A buyers have on their minds is offloading the newly combined entity. Seems a bit like talking about divorce at a wedding. […]