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 […]

Burger King Tim Hortons Merger

Burger King – Tim Hortons Merger Is Unappetizing Deal

Burger King and Tim Hortons announced on Sunday that they would merge into a single enterprise with $22 billion in revenue and 18,000 restaurants worldwide. A new parent company headquartered in Canada would be created in what technically is a tax inversion, although tax savings are not driving the merger itself. The main strategy is […]

Recent Posts

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 […]

Campbell Soup to Divest Fresh and International Businesses

Campbell Soup to Divest Fresh and International Businesses

Campbell plans to sell its fresh foods and international businesses to refocus on core products in North America. The fresh foods business includes brands such as Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet, which were acquired in 2012 and 2015, respectively. In a time when many food and beverage companies are seeking to increase their hold […]

Coke buys Costa

A Wake Up Call for Starbucks? Coca-Cola Buys Coffee Chain Costa

In its latest move to diversify beyond soda, Coca-Cola is buying Costa, a UK-based coffee chain for $5.1 billion. The deal will give Coke access to the coffee market in Europe, the Middle East and Asia through Costa’s 4,000 stores. Coke plans to use its distribution network to further Costa’s expansion and challenge rivals like […]

3 Ways to Successfully Integrate Different Workforces

3 Ways to Successfully Integrate Different Workforces

One of the most common questions we receive is how to integrate two vastly different company cultures. There are many ways company cultures can vary. Often, we see a bigger company and a much smaller company, an entrepreneurial company and a process-driven company, or a tech-heavy company and one that is not. Sometimes cultures are […]

5 Tips for Creating an Integration Plan

5 Tips for Creating an Integration Plan

Bringing two companies together through an acquisition is a massive undertaking that requires a significant amount of research and planning and dedicated resources to make it happen. It is the culmination of months (or perhaps years) of dedication and hard work. Unfortunately, far too often, companies struggle with integration and poor integration can detract or […]

What Do Mega Deals Mean for the Middle Market

What Do Mega Deals Mean for the Middle Market?

It’s been a hot year for mergers and acquisitions with a record $2.5 trillion in deal value announced in the first six months. At least 36 deals over $10 billion in value and 81 deals valued over $5 billion were announced in the first half of 2018. Mega deals are on the rise and driving […]

Beginning Integration Planning After the Deal Closes: A Mistake You Must Avoid

Beginning Integration Planning After the Deal Closes: A Mistake You Must Avoid

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to begin thinking about integration after a deal closes. By that time, it is already too late, and you will be left scrambling to piece together a haphazard plan. After the transaction closes employees from both buyer and seller will be working side-by-side and systems […]