…no matter how much you vigorously combine them, they eventually separate out again. It’s a nice analogy but why? Why is it so hard to successfully translate strategy into integration? Why do those who lead / create strategy well struggle so badly with integration? Why does a set of activities which by their very nature are iterate, continue to be linear? One of the joys of my work is that I meet […]
M&A – bust as an idea or are we starting to differentiate between those who can and those who can’t?
Has the idea of growth through M&A finally been proven to be fundamentally bust or can we start to differentiate between those that are likely to fail and those that might succeed? Are there indicators which you might look for to identify potential success? I’ve been thinking about what might feature in those indicators….here’s my list: Personal track record of complex transformation (ideally in remedial situations) within the leadership and […]
Let me tell you a story about a small professional services business acquisition involving two similar sized businesses operating in related ends of the market. The steering committee for the integration included anyone with a ‘C” in his / her title…the cost from an hourly charge-out rate perspective around the table was considerable as was the intellectual firepower! This was the third meeting of that group and I was somewhat […]
You want effective communications in an acquisition? Recognise your employees’ perceptions as the actual baseline and own it…simple really!
Anyone you know who hasn’t been through a deal of some kind? I thought not…even those who work in the public sector will have had some strategic transformation thrust upon them. It’s a part of corporate life, whether you’re a senior stakeholder or an entry level employee.…and what has their experience been like, do you think? Positive…’I’ve learned from the experience and my career has been enhanced’ Neutral…’It’s only affected […]
Early adopters, step aside…the mainstream has arrived.What are the implications behind the increasing trend to engage Directors of the Strategic PMO?
A perspective on the growing trend for Strategic PMOs – what are they and why might you need one
What happens when the deal you’ve been banking on is pulled “Investors should worry whenever bosses and bankers succumb to deal-fever, since so many corporate transactions end up destroying value. The latest crop has some of the tell-tale signs of danger: high ego, high price and over-confidence.” You’re probably not surprised to hear that this is a quote from the FT…as relevant today as it was when it was written, […]
According to Dealogic, 102 outbound Chinese transactions have been announced to date worth USD 81.6 billion up from USD 11.2 billion for the same period last year… Some of them have been truly momentous: Haier’s intention to acquire the GE Appliance business, a business which is steeped in American corporate history. ChemChina’s bid for Syngenta, the sheer size of which is eye popping at USD 48 billion. HNA Group’s bid for […]
A few years ago when I was contemplating the opportunity to come to Asia and going through a rather tortuous International Mobility exercise (which seemed full of process but lacked any sense of progress), a colleague whispered to me the secret of all such moves….’sponsorship’. Find a sponsor, he said, one who has money and influence, and all the obstacles you’re currently facing through the ‘official’ processes will magically disappear! […]
One of my reading obsessions for the last couple of years has been the subject of behavioural economics. A key finding (from the psychology arm of the science) is the concept of ‘unconscious bias’; the idea that despite the contention from a rational perspective that we are not biased, the evidence suggests that we are influenced by colour and race in our decisions and inclinations. There’s a good short video on […]
The announcement this morning of the acquisition of Baxalta by Shire suggests that the wave of pharmaceutical acquisitions is still ongoing. The current market fluctuation may help others to continue their quest in what is probably the largest sector consolidation we’ve seen in a decade or two. The Shire share price reaction is also interesting…a fall of 8% suggests that investors are increasingly concerned that for this specific deal, and […]
It’s rare to have a ringside view of events on the global stage where the effect on one’s own part of the world is relatively limited. 2015 has been the year of mergers and acquisitions with whole sectors (pharmaceuticals, cement, beer, oil and gas) going through such a radical overhaul that they have indeed truly changed. In the majority of cases, the case for consolidation has largely been driven by […]
Fixing the irrevocably broken – creating an organisational structure which can thrive in a world of disruptive innovation
With thanks to Toby Tester and following from my blog last week (click here to read it if you’ve unwittingly stumbled upon this random collection of thoughts), here is the exam question for the week: What does an ideal organisational structure look like to cope with the challenges of today’s working environment? Let me first try and define what I envisage as an ‘ideal’ structure with a series of questions: […]
The real impact of disruptive innovation – fundamentally changing the future structure of organisations
Disruption is the new buzz word in business these days. There are still some organisations and sectors which resist the concept that, somewhere, in the minds of a consumer or an employee, there is an idea which will change their industry for ever….but largely, there is a surface level of acceptance. The real change behind disruption however is much more subtle, disturbing and has the potential to change the corporate […]
A few years ago I was involved in the merger of two UK law firms, one with a focus on London as its main operating base, the other more regional in its operations. One of the conditions for the deal to go through was 100% approval by the partners. In terms of numbers, we were talking about 124 people. Imagine having a hurdle in a project where, before any implementation […]
The final instalment of this series of blogs, from the perspective of a mythical CEO of a family owned business being acquired by a multinational corporate. It is based on my experience of deals across Asia and is not specific to one particular transaction. If you’d like to read the previous parts (which may make sense as they’re written in chronological order), you can access them here – Due diligence, […]
By popular demand (from the exclusive few that appear to read this blog), this is part 3 of a series based on the experience on a fictional CEO in an emerging market going through an acquisition by a multinational corporate. If you’ve wondered onto this blog by accident, firstly, my sympathies and secondly, it may make some sense to read them in the order that they’ve been written. The link […]
Due diligence in an emerging market – the management interviews – lots of communication, perhaps less understanding!
Last week I explored the challenges of doing diligence on a fictitious family owned business based in Indonesia, from the perspective of the CEO (the link is here if you missed it). This week, let’s have a playful look at the next stage in the process…the management interviews, again from the perspective of the CEO of the business being acquired. This is the accumulation of a number of my experiences […]
Due diligence in an emerging market…identifying the right channels of information, sticking to the 80% rule and managing your parent!
I’ve written this blog from the perspective of the business which is being acquired…all of the examples below are from real situations but not from the same deal. I challenge you to picture yourself in this scenario: You’re the first, professional, externally appointed CEO of a family owned manufacturing business in Indonesia. Your business has been built over 2 generations and occupies a prominent position in the sector you occupy, […]
For those of you who’ve occasionally stumbled upon my postings, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time writing about the challenges of programme leadership for the post deal integration process, with all its complexities and more importantly, opacity arising from the peculiarities of the situation; lack of access to information, business case based on assumptions which cannot be validated until the deal is completed, limited resources etc. What […]
This is part 3 of a blog on the issue of culture in M&A. Here are the links to part 1 and part 2. 10 years ago I worked on the integration of Boots and Alliance Unichem in the UK. It was a ground breaking deal in many ways: The largest private equity backed transaction / delisting at the time, around USD5.3 billion. The buyer, Alliance Unichem, was unknown in […]