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Common themes of successful M&A deals

If you’re looking to merge with or acquire another business – or you’re looking to sell your business to someone else – you might think you have a really complicated situation, or that this M&A is different from all the others, but you absolutely should know that most M&A deals have similar themes to them, and it is likely you will fit into one of them.


In this article, we will discuss the common themes of successful M&A deals, to help you spot what you need to look out for if you’re planning on undertaking one yourself.

They’re always a rollercoaster

M&A deals are absolutely always a rollercoaster ride. They’re rarely smooth sailing. The price of the deal might change – although it shouldn’t change too drastically – and the final details of the deal will likely alter several times before everyone is happy.


Don’t be concerned by this. It’s a normal and healthy part of the negotiation process.

Take your time

The absolute best M&As are decided on and then developed over time. Do not rush an M&A through, or else you will find that the overall deal is unsatisfactory.


The most successful mergers are forged through positive relationships that have taken years to cultivate properly.


CEOs, business development managers and other key teams should be meeting and chatting regularly, and you’ll know in your gut if it’s right, as the merger will feel natural and not forced.

Be empathetic

Buyers and sellers both have needs and it is really important that whichever one you are you are sympathetic to the needs and desires of the other party.


This isn’t always easy, because everyone wants the best deal possible for them, but compromise needs to happen and it is unlikely either party will get absolutely everything they want. If that does happen, someone is compromising too much and likely very unhappy. That is a recipe for disaster.

Honesty is the best policy

All companies have their sticking points. It is a really good idea to be honest and open about yours. Hiding things will only breed distrust should your warts be revealed, and it is highly likely they will be. There should be solicitors involved in a merger – officials whose job it is to sniff out any potential issues – and they will find anything you try to hide.


Don’t be ashamed of the trials you have faced and the problems you have overcome, even if some of them are still a work in progress. Remember, every company has its issues. As long as you’re honest, you have nothing to fear.

Bring in an unbiased team

Both sides should have unbiased individuals who have nothing to gain from the merger to help with the negotiation process. These people are much more likely to give their honest opinion on what a company is worth because they have nothing to gain from doing that.


These individuals will likely be part of your change management team. They’ll be involved from the very beginning of the process and have a full overview of what you hope to achieve and how you are going to do it. They’ll advise you for no other reason that it is their job to.

Businesses should be valued correctly

You might be surprised to hear that most people overvalue what their business is worth. That’s because bias often comes into play, as well as the fact that business valuations need to be done by a professional, not by a group of individuals associated with the company sitting around a board table.


Make sure that a professional valuer comes in and assesses your business properly before you attach an obscene number to a sale, as this is one of the main reasons mergers fail.


Likewise, if you are buying the business, make sure you have done your due diligence and know the true value of the business you are buying.

Make sure the merger is actually possible

Not all businesses mesh well, even when you feel like it might be an easy merger. Make sure you have properly assessed how your two companies are going to work together. You should have a clear plan for how work will crossover and how you will eventually become one big unit, or else you might just find that you have bought and are operating a totally separate company. If that isn’t what you want, this will be an issue.


Hire professionals

An M&A is probably the biggest change your company can go through and a decision to merge with or acquire another company should not be taken lightly. You absolutely should have a number of teams in place to help with the process and several professionals who know what they are doing when it comes to M&As.


Yorkshire Change can help. We have years of experience managing companies through change. For more information on how we can help you successfully merge your company, fill in the contact form at the bottom of our homepage.

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