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!

One of the most challenging aspects of “not-for-sale” deal making is that more often than not owners initially are not interested in selling. Owners say “no” all the time and it can be discouraging, especially to first-time buyers who are unfamiliar with the M&A process. Here are three steps a buyer should take after hearing […]

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About 70% of acquisitions fail. Either the deals don’t result in the expected synergies or worse – they detract from a company’s existing value. The good news is that you can beat these terrible odds by preparing before you begin pursuing deals. In our experience, here are ten questions we ask our clients before embarking […]

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“I have found that the most attractive offers from buyers go beyond a simple dollar figure.” I could not agree more with this statement from Frank Williamson’s article on Axial. This concept that price is not the ultimate selling point is something we talk about a lot on the Successful Acquisitions Blog. We call it […]

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Not every buyer will or should require complete control to invest in a company. Some buyers will look at a technology or product segment and invest in four to five startups or up and coming businesses at various minority interest levels with options in the future to increase their stakes once the technology is proven. […]

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Many leaders shy away from international expansion because they are afraid of the risks associated with it, but going global can be an excellent opportunity for reaching new markets and achieving your company’s growth goals. If you’re considering new growth options, here are three steps to minimize these liabilities when expanding internationally. 1. Find the […]

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Four tips for investing in credit union service organizations as a solid way to build your bottom line without increasing fees. Credit unions are relying more on non-interest income to grow. Over the past 10 years, non-interest income as a percentage of gross income has risen from 19% in 2008 to 27% in 2018, according […]

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Learn what can make or break a deal I’m excited to be leading the American Management Association’s Course on Mergers & Acquisitions on May 15-17 in New York. I have been teaching this course for 26 years (since 1993) and it is a comprehensive, three-day course designed especially for CEOs, CFOs, owners, and other senior-level […]

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It’s typically much quicker to acquire rather than build your own solution. When it comes to technology, acquiring can help you leapfrog the research and development cycle to purchase a solution that has already been developed, tested and not only proven to be superior, but is already widely used. Large tech companies like Google, Amazon, […]

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“It’s the funny thing about all these deals, though. Yes, you can get a banker involved.  But a lot of it comes back to relationships.”

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In my last post I explained why following a process is critical to M&A success. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, please check it out. This post will further detail our systematic acquisition process, the Roadmap to AcquisitionsSM developed from first-hand experience working with strategic buyers. There are three main phases: […]

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I’m often asked, “What is the key to a successful acquisition?” I have one simple answer: Have a process. You can compare the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process to the hiring process. Before we even begin interviewing candidates, we develop a job description, whom the employee will report to, when they will start, performance metrics, […]

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This post is part of a series on common misconceptions about acquisitions I’ve encountered over the years as an advisor. Read parts one and two. Misconception #3: Only the CEO and CFO Should Be Involved Because of the confidential nature of acquisitions, naturally most company owners do not disclose their acquisition plans to the entire […]

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This post is part of a series on common misconceptions about acquisitions I’ve encountered over the years as an advisor. To read the first post, please click here. Misconception #2: You Can Execute an Acquisition “On the Side” Many underestimate the level of effort required to complete a transaction. An acquisition is a significant undertaking […]

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Throughout my over 25 years’ experience helping companies grow through strategic mergers and acquisitions, I have seen many different types of transactions and while each deal is unique, there are a few common themes that run through them all. In this series I will be answering some typical questions and clarifying a few common misconceptions […]

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Don’t rush to get a signed letter of intent (LOI) by kicking the can down the road on price. A signed LOI is a significant milestone in the M&A process, indicating mutual interest in an acquisition. The document covers the basic parameters of the deal that both buyer and seller agree to including what will […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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