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

Unlocking Your Company’s Potential for Growth

Unlocking Your Company’s Potential for Growth

“At our last strategic planning session, we realized we needed to do something else in addition to organic growth to meet our company’s five-year goals,” Dan* recently shared with me on the phone. Like many middle market companies, organic growth was stagnant, and the company’s progress had plateaued. Dan saw the gap between where the […]

Happy New Year from Capstone

Happy New Year from Capstone – 2018 Charity Survey Results

Happy New Year! Last year we asked you to help us give back by voting for your favorite charity. We are very excited to announce the results from the survey and have made a contribution to each of the charities in proportion to your selection. Each of the charities noted above have made a significant […]

New Year, New Opportunities: 2 Ways to Reflect on Company Growth

New Year, New Opportunities: 2 Ways to Reflect on Company Growth

Hello and Happy New Year! Welcome to the first post in 2019. I always love the new year because it’s a great time to take a step back, reflect and refocus. Far too often business leaders get caught up in the day-to-day of running a company, putting out fires, or jumping to the next big […]

M&A in Review: Top Posts from 2018

M&A in Review: Top posts from 2018

While 2018 has been the highest year on record for mergers and acquisitions, dealmaking is slowing down. Geopolotical risk, trade issues, and stock market volatility all play a role in CEO confidence, one of the primary drivers of activity. Coming off three years of strong activity and favorable economic conditions the tide may be shifting. […]

Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances Are on the Rise

Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances Are on the Rise

The number of strategic alliances and joint ventures (JV) is growing. In 2017, joint ventures and strategic alliances grew 30% compared to the previous year and 49% of CEOs are planning a new strategic alliance or joint venture in 2019, according to a PWC CEO Survey. According to Strategy& executives are pursuing JVs and strategic […]

United Technologies Splits into 3 to Grow Long-term

United Technologies Splits into 3 to Grow Long-term 

M&A is not always about getting bigger. Often, it’s about recalibrating a business to focus on core competencies and long-term growth. On November 27, United Technologies announced it would split into three companies by 2020. United Technologies will focus on aerospace, Otis on elevators, and Carrier on air-conditioning and HVAC. United Technologies Chairman and CEO Gregory […]

Past Success is No Guarantee of Future Success

Past Success Is No Guarantee of Future Success

Past success is no guarantee of future success. Just ask Shakey’s Pizza, Ground Round Grill & Bar or Frisch’s Big Boy. If you’re scratching your head wondering what these companies are, you have proven my point. A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted the ways these three companies, which were once recognizable anywhere, have shrunk […]

5 Questions to Jump-Start Your Acquisition Plan

5 Questions to Jump-Start Your Acquisition Plan

In my over 20 years of helping companies grow through acquisitions, I can say the secret to a successful deal is having a solid, strategic approach to M&A. This is true for middle market manufacturers, technology startups, family-owned food and beverage companies, and divisions of publicly traded firms. Having a plan is the first step […]

2 Topics to Avoid at the Thanksgiving and the Deal Table

2 Topics to Avoid at the Thanksgiving and the Deal Table

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving here in the US and for many of us that means traveling to be with our families and friends. If you’re like most folks, there may be a few topics you steer clear of as you gather around the dinner table this Thursday. In the same way, when meeting with […]

So you've signed a letter of intent, now what?

So, You’ve Signed a Letter of Intent, Now What?

After signing a letter of intent (LOI), there are still many steps to take before closing a transaction including due diligence, final valuation, negotiations, papering legal documents, and integration planning.   With many complex, specialized steps to move the deal forward, this period can be challenging to navigate, but also presents opportunities for strategic acquirers who have […]

Don't forget to ask why in acquisitions

Don’t Forget to Ask “Why?”

Many executives don’t take enough time to think about the “why” of acquisition. They focus on conducting research, identifying targets, negotiation with owners and valuing companies and gloss over these grounding questions. But the foundation of every successful acquisition lies in your strategic rationale. Without this foundation, it’s impossible to guide your endeavors. If you embark […]

6 reasons sellers get spooked

6 Reasons Sellers Get Spooked in Acquisitions

Sarah’s company had been speaking to the prospect for months and was almost ready to sign a letter of intent, when all of a sudden, the seller changed his mind and walked away from the deal. Sarah and her team were stunned and left asking, “What happened?” Unfortunately, deals do fall apart for a variety […]

Facebook Looks to Boost Cybersecurity with Acquisition

Facebook Looks to Boost Cybersecurity with Acquisition

Facebook is said to be the latest firm looking to bolster its cybersecurity capabilities through acquisition. Facebook recently detected a breach affecting 30 million users. This latest news comes on top of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and has negatively impacted the technology giant. Cyber security is increasingly an area of concern for many companies across […]

How do you go about exploring an acquisition with a competitor

How Do You Go About Exploring an Acquisition with a Competitor?

Growing by acquiring a competitor is a common tactic for companies looking to quickly grab market share through a consolidation. However, exploring an acquisition opportunity with a rival can be awkward as neither party wants to give the other a competitive advantage by sharing company secrets. Typically, a rival, especially in a not-for-sale situation will […]

How Buyers Unintentionally Destroy Acquisition Value in Integration

How Buyers (Unintentionally) Destroy Acquisition Value in Integration

Integration proves to be one of the most difficult pieces of the M&A puzzle to get right. Buyers often try integrating the target’s systems into their own, only to realize too late they are destroying the very value they wished to acquire. Large food companies are learning this lesson from past mistakes and adjusting their […]

Why You Need a Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer

Why You Need a Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer

Most people know they will need a lawyer to finalize an acquisition, but many assume any lawyer will do. This is not true. While your attorney friend may be a top-notch patent lawyer, chances are he or she will not be equipped to offer specialized guidance in mergers and acquisitions. Think about it this way: […]

What Is Included in the Purchase Agreement?

What Is Included in the Purchase Agreement?

The purchase agreement is the legal document that officially seals the deal between buyer and seller. While each transaction is unique, most agreements contain the following sections: Sale and Purchase – This section includes the terms of the transaction such as the Buyer and Seller names, type of transaction, Stock, Asset, or Merger, and the […]

Michael Kors Buys Versace - 3 Lessons for Strategic Acquirers

Michael Kors to Buy Versace – 3 Lessons for Acquirers

Michael Kors will purchase Versace for $2.1 billion as part of a plan to build a luxury fashion empire. After the deal closes, Michael Kors will change its name to Capri Holdings and have 18,000 employees worldwide. While you may (or may not) be a fashionista, here are three lessons any strategic acquirer can learn […]

Alibaba acquires 10% stake in Mail.Ru

China’s Alibaba Expands Ecommerce Presence in Russia with Minority Stake in Mail.Ru

Alibaba, China’s internet giant, will purchase a 10% stake of Mail.Ru, one of Russia’s largest internet companies, to expand its ecommerce reach in Russia. As part of the deal, Alibaba, Mail.Ru, telecom company MegaFon, and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, will form a joint venture called AliExpress Russia. Alibaba will have a 48% stake in the […]

How much to pay for an acquisition

How Much Should You Pay for an Acquisition?

How much should a buyer pay for an acquisition? The short answer is, it depends. Because each company’s situation is unique there is no one rule of thumb for naming your price. Valuation is one of the critical components in establishing the financial worth of a company. In mergers and acquisitions one of the most commonly […]