M&A Insights from David Braun and Other Experts

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Trillion with a T

Trillion with a T

Over and over on this blog, I have strongly advocated external growth to complement organic growth.  Today the largest 500 non-financial American firms have nearly $1 Trillion in cash and short-term investments on their balance sheets.  That’s Trillion with a ‘T’! This represents roughly 9.8% of their assets.  What does that tell me?  Companies are […]

Preparing for A Crisis

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week, many Mom-and-Pop operations lack formal crisis plans – and are shutting down as a result of the current economy.  In our experience, this lack of planning is not limited to family enterprises.  It is disturbing how many firms – small, medium and even large – lack […]

Strategic M&A Leads the Way!

The M&A statistics for the third quarter of 2009 are in and show the vast majority of the deals getting done are strategic.  The economic crisis and concerns over deal financing continued to significantly hold down the number and value of deals when compared to the same period last year.  Today, a Wall Street Journal […]

Keeping an Eye on the Government

A story in the news last week caught my eye – U.S. antitrust enforcers are planning to revamp merger guidelines.  This isn’t surprising news – there have been expectations for quite awhile that the Obama administration was going to take a closer look at large corporate mergers.  It also won’t affect the vast majority of […]

Capstone Webinar: Keys to Integration Success

Capstone Webinar: Keys to Integration Success Thursday, September 17, 2009; 1:00 PM ET Hosted by David Braun, Capstone CEO Join Capstone CEO David Braun as he leads a webinar on how to successfully plan and execute the integration of two companies. The closing of a deal is the fruition of months — even years — […]

The Secret to Integration Success

The Secret to Integration Success

There are countless books on how to effectively integrate two companies after an acquisition.  Some stress “communication” while others put the emphasis on “culture”.  While both concepts are important, neither is the key to integration success.  In my experience, the single best thing you can do to ensure a smooth integration is to buy the […]

The M&A Revival?

Three recent deals are being heralded as “the revival” of the M&A market.  Although the linked article captures some of the larger buy-side deals (for example Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel) that are now beginning to emerge, we here at Capstone are seeing a similar trend in the area of the market where we […]

Strategic Buyers Lead the Way

Strategic Buyers Lead the Way

PWC released its second quarter report on M&A activity in the industrial products sector.  Two items from the report stood out for me.  First, M&A activity in the second quarter actually rose compared to the first quarter of 2009 (although still down significantly compared to last year).  This could be a sign that some of […]

Capstone Webinar: A New Look at Due Diligence

On Friday, August 21, 2009, Capstone will be hosting a webinar on maximizing the time and effort put into due diligence in the acquisition process. Due diligence has traditionally been seen as a “check the box”  exercise – you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a target, uncover liabilities and understand risk in order to […]

Video: Synergy: Does 1+1=3?

In another installment of our video series, I discuss what “Synergy” really means.  Synergy is a word that gets bandied around a lot in the world of M&A.  When discussing potential deals, companies often try to justify a mediocre deal by talking about all of the synergies that will result.  Really, though there are only […]

Cisco – A Shining Example

There was an excellent profile in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal of Cisco Systems and its CEO, John Chambers. Cisco is a company that “gets it”.  In some of the most difficult economic conditions of our lifetime, Cisco is not hiding its head in the sand.  Here is Chambers’ philosophy: Even in this downturn, we […]

The Middle-Market on Top

It seems that in the world of private equity, middle-market funds are enjoying the greatest success in this bleak deal-making landscape.  The main reason given: …small and middle-market firms are getting the attention of the PE shops because they can be had without piling on gobs of debt Right now, they are also considered a […]

Be Brave in the New Economic World

A recent study confirms what we’ve been saying for months: companies that are bold in these troubled economic times will reap the benefits of their actions.  As the study’s authors state: “Companies with M&A in mind should be emboldened by our analysis: fortune favors the brave. Fears that M&A is riskier post-Lehman seem to be […]

The M&A Power Shift Continues

Back in December, I noted (and agreed with) one author’s proclamation that in the current economy, the balance of power in M&A has shifted from sellers to buyers.  The main reason:  With the credit market in a crunch, cash is king, and cash-rich companies hold a distinct advantage. As these survey results show, this trend […]

John Dearing on "Inside Maine Business"

I recently appeared on Jacobson & Katz: Inside Maine Business to discuss the current state of the mergers and acquisitions market, as well as the Capstone approach to the M&A process. You can view Part One here: And Part Two, here: To see other episodes of Jacobson & Katz: Inside Maine Business, visit

Video: Why Do Deals Fail?

At a seminar on the M&A process, I discuss the most common reason that acquisitions fail – and it might not be what you expect: Have you been part of a failed acquisition?  What do you think was the main reason that it didn’t work? Let me know in the comments!

Out of the Present and Into the Future

With the shaky economy, I am constantly hearing clients talk about how to get through the tough times now.  While this is obviously a valid concern, I caution them not to forget about the future – specifically future demand. Future demand is king for reasons that are self-evident, once you pause to think about it. […]

Valuation ≠ Price

I wanted to post a quick note about the difference between the valuation of a company and the price that you pay to buy that company.  This distinction came up after a conversation I had the other day with an associate who had difficulty understanding why he was looking at paying a different amount for […]

Taking Control With a Minority Investment

Recent news indicates that the federal government will “prop up” the major banks if they continue to falter.  This has some worried that these large financial institutions will be “nationalized”.  The government says that this is not the case: The strong presumption of the Capital Assistance Program is that the banks should remain in private […]

Cutting Costs and Treading Water

I recently read an article through DealBook indicating that the Obama administration will increase antitrust enforcement during its tenure, raising the anxieties of many on Wall Street. In the big picture, I don’t think this increased oversight will have much impact on middle-market deals – after all, it’s usually only the really big deals that […]