Some might say the best time to pursue an acquisition is when the right opportunity comes along, but they’re wrong. The best time to pursue M&A is whenever you are ready. The best opportunities are those that you seek out proactively. If you wait around for opportunity to come to you, you may be missing […]

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Finding the right partner is a crucial component of successful mergers and acquisitions and pursuing a deal with the wrong company can be a costly mistake. We’ve all seen the headlines of major mergers and acquisitions that have fallen apart at some point along the deal – whether it’s before the transaction closes or during integration. […]

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It goes without saying that the introductory meeting is a crucial step of the acquisition process. If it goes well, your partnership could result in a successful deal. If it goes badly, you may be throwing away a great opportunity and have wasted hours of time and resources chasing the deal. Your goal for the […]

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Packaged food company ConAgra Foods plans to divest its private label branch Ralcorp after acquiring it in 2012 for $5 billion. Why is ConAgra spinning off this private label business so quickly after acquisition? The many reasons include pressure from activist investors, poor performance, increased competition, and tighter margins. Ralcorp’s revenues dropped by 6 percent […]

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I decided to answer a very basic, but important question about M&A, given that we often talk about strategic acquisitions. Q: What’s the difference between a financial and a strategic buyer? A: A financial buyer brings little inherent value to the transaction. Typically they bring capital and capital allocation knowledge, but usually no specific knowledge […]

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Q: “What if the buyer and seller functional leaders do not match? How do you coordinate the two sides?” We take a functional approach to due diligence where we encourage your leaders from sales, marketing, finance, operations and other functional areas to meet with their respective leaders on the seller’s side. A functional approach ensures […]

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On May 18, Endo announced it would acquire Par Pharmaceutical for $6.5 billion cash and $1.5 billion stock. The acquisition is the latest consolidation in a robust M&A market, especially in the healthcare sector. Endo has stated multiple reasons for the deal, including building its generic drug platform as well as significant operational and tax […]

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“I always take control, but I did not buy 51 percent. Control doesn’t have to be 51 percent. I think people get confused by that.” Marcus Lemonis comments about minority investment on Squawkbox are spot-on. When asked to elaborate, he explained, “I just document everything: full financial control, full operational control. I can have 10 […]

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The more reasons you have to buy a company, the less you should want it. This may sound strange. After all, isn’t it best to be efficient and kill two (or more) birds with one stone? Since acquisitions are rather expensive, shouldn’t you get your money’s worth? Endless Possibilities…Zero Results It can be tempting to think […]

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“We have a strong vision and a clear plan for growing the company in the future,” Sarah, the CEO, told me with complete confidence during a recent strategy session. Her CFO disagreed: “We have no vision.” Various members of her executive team shared similar sentiments privately with my team and me. Many expressed anxiety; they […]

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Acquisitions are one of the fastest ways to grow, but they do come with their own set of risks. Industry numbers show that about 70% of acquisitions fail, so executives are highly motivated to mitigate their risks when purchasing a company. This can be done in a number of ways. Usually we think about hiring […]

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Time your negotiations by understanding owner psychology. Everyone wants to talk about price in mergers and acquisitions. It’s often the number one focus of buyers and sellers…but for opposite reasons. Both are likely to say they are looking for a “good deal,” but this can have a completely different meaning depending on the perspective. Buyers […]

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When it comes to integration, people often think equity ownership should determine their approach. If they own 100% of the business, they should change all the target’s practices to their own.  In a strategic alliance where neither side can force the other side to do anything, they might not integrate any of the practices. But […]

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If you’re strategic acquirer, 2015 will be a good year for you. In 2014 we started to see companies, especially strategic acquirers be more aggressive about M&A. This likely will continue and even accelerate in 2015, especially since many still have a record amount of cash on their balance sheets. While we’ve had a pretty […]

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“I felt so vulnerable. I didn’t know what to do or what to talk about,” Dan told me. As the CEO of a food manufacturer who was pursuing acquisitions, he had a first meeting with an owner of a packaging facility before he engaged Capstone. When we met he expressed feelings of uncertainty and how […]

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How do you begin your courtship of a not-for-sale company? Sending a letter is fairly common practice for contacting owners, but it’s not the most effective way to communicate. A letter will not attract the owner’s attention and likely will go into the trash without being read. There’s a better way to stand out from the […]

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At first glance you may ask, “Why in the world would Warren Buffett buy Duracell?” One explanation is financial. Through a bit of fiscal engineering Berkshire Hathaway is able to avoid triggering significant taxes. The Duracell transaction, is essentially a merger through a stock swap. Berkshire will give P&G $4.7 billion of the shares it […]

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With a 70% failure rate for acquisitions, it seems like the odds are against you from the beginning. Before you get scared off, however, let’s take a closer look at what that 70% means. The 70% failure rate is mainly based on large, publicly traded transactions because large transactions must be reported to the SEC, […]

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I’m often asked for a due diligence checklist by clients or acquirers who are anxious to make sure they’ve covered all their bases. While there are plenty of due diligence checklists, I caution against using a list developed by someone else because it may not cover aspects that are important to your organization. Your questions […]

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Burger King and Tim Hortons plan to merge in an $11 billion deal that will create a new fast food powerhouse. The merger has received significant attention from the media, dealmakers, regulators and consumers. Capstone’s infographic will show you what you need to know about this exciting transaction. Click on the image for a closer […]

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