M&A and External Growth

External growth, partnering with an outside organization, sometimes is the fastest way to grow your company. Explore multiple pathways including acquisition, strategic alliance, joint venture, minority interest, and more!

Faced with slow sales, the Nordstrom family is exploring taking the iconic department store private. It’s no secret that despite the strong economy, the retail industry has been hit hard and the rise of ecommerce has impacted brick and mortar stores across the world. Department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears are struggling to […]

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Deere plans to acquire German road construction company Wirtgen Group for $4.88 billion in order to expand its road construction operations and reduce its dependence on farm equipment. Wirtgen’s products span the entire road construction sector including milling, processing, mixing, paving, compaction and rehabilitation. Deere, most famous for its John Deere tractors, is heavily reliant […]

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Done right, acquisitions create value and accelerate a company’s growth setting you up for long-term success. However, experience tells us about 77% of acquisitions fail. Deals often fall apart before they close or fail to generate their expected value. Here are three common reasons why acquisitions don’t work out and how you can avoid them. […]

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Companies that grow in meaningful ways always take on a highly strategic approach to growth. This is because focus produces results. Lack of focus is like wandering around without any purpose or any clear direction of where you want to go. While you may walk for many miles, you’ll never reach your destination. On the […]

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Do you want to grow your business? Of course you do. After all, growth is the key to a successful company and, without it, a business is almost certainly declining. The real question isn’t if you want to grow your business, but how you will go about doing so. The natural trajectory of a new […]

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Multi-million and billion dollar deals dominate the news, and sometimes it can be difficult to see how these transactions apply to your company. But if you look past the zeroes and dig down into the “why” of an acquisition, you’ll find there are many lessons for middle market executives looking to grow their companies through […]

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Negotiating for an acquisition is quite a bit different than any other type of negotiation. Unlike a debate or argument, where your goal is to soundly best the opposite side no matter the cost, in acquisition, you must achieve your goal while maintaining a positive relationship with the opposite side. This is because you’ll likely […]

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From the somewhat plausible to the downright outrageous, rumors abound whenever a transaction is announced. While some rumors may be innocuous, unfortunately others may have lasting, damaging effects on your company and employee morale so it’s important to quickly put a stop to them. Here are three practical steps to kill gossip and reduce confusion. […]

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Due diligence is more than just hammering away at a company to find out everything that might be wrong with it. It is about taking a focused approach throughout the acquisition process to uncover key points that will help you methodically evaluate a company to make sure it is the right fit. Traditionally, due diligence […]

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All companies, even those that are profitable, face pressure from today’s economic environment.  Whether its regulatory hurdles, increased competition, geopolitical risk, or new technology, the world today is constantly changing. Unfortunately, many companies realize this too late and “suddenly” find themselves in an impossible situation that is incredibly difficult to reverse. The best way to […]

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Price is often the number one focus in mergers and acquisitions and everyone is eager to get down to the numbers. However, as you might expect, buyers and sellers have very different expectations on price, which can lead to friction between the two parties. On the one hand, most sellers plan to offer their business […]

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Many are convinced that the buyer with the most money always wins the deal. Although many acquisitions by financial acquirers and strategic buyers are driven by the desire to grow revenue and the company’s bottom line, it is possible to win an acquisition without offering the most amount of money. A successful acquisition is about […]

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Think you can only acquire a for-sale company? Think again. Although it may seem impossible to buy a “not-for-sale” company, a company that is “not-for-sale” simply means it is not actively thinking about selling. However if the owner receives a compelling offer, they might change their mind. Here are four reasons why a not-for-sale acquisition […]

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“We’ll know it when we see it,” many leaders say when asked to define their ideal acquisition. Unfortunately, this approach is a recipe for disaster. How will you know if it is the right company for acquisition based solely on your gut instinct? This is not how we, as business leaders, approach other decisions so […]

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“I’m not interested in selling my business right now.” “We already have a strategic plan in place.” “We are already talking to another buyer.” “Why should I listen to you? I get asked to sell all the time.” “I may sell in a few years when my company has a higher value.” “Who are you????” […]

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Owners are usually skeptical or defensive when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” company. In fact, many will hang up or refuse to consider your offer. If you do manage to break through and get the owner to agree to a first meeting, your job is to put them at ease, dissuade fears and communicate the […]

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You don’t have to “go big or go home” to successfully grow your company through M&A. A small, well-executed acquisition that targets a specific need can sometimes be more powerful than a multi-billion dollar consolidation. Let’s take a look at a recent example from the news. Earlier this month, Conagra announced it would acquire Thanasi […]

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“We did an acquisition about 15 years ago. It did not go well…I guess you could say we are still ‘recovering,’ the CEO of a family-owned business recently shared with me during a meeting. She went on to explain there were a number of integration issues and other challenges that cropped up post-closing that the […]

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It seems like 2017 will be a strong year for acquisitions. A new report highlights a number of factors that could drive activity this year including the record levels of cash held by private equity firms and a favorable lending environment for borrowers. Potential changes to U.S. tax policy under the new administration could reduce […]

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3M, the maker of Post-it, will acquire Scott Safety from Johnson Controls for $2 billion to build up its safety division. This is the second largest acquisition for 3M after its purchase of Capital Safety, a maker of fall protection equipment such as harnesses, lanyards, and self-retracting lifelines, from KKR & Co. for $2.5 billion […]

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