M&A Insights from David Braun and Other Experts

Latest Articles

Matt Craft Vice President Capstone

Capstone Promotes Matthew Craft to Vice President

As Vice President, Matthew Craft will continue to execute strategic mergers and acquisitions for middle market companies. Capstone, a leading management consulting firm that helps middle market companies grow through mergers and acquisitions, is pleased to announce the promotion of Matthew (Matt) Craft to Vice President. In his new position as Vice President, Matt will […]

Yes No Owners

How You Can Get an Owner to Say “Yes” to Acquisition

When contacting an owner about acquisitions, don’t be surprised to hear “no.” Most owners, when asked about selling their “not-for-sale” business will automatically refuse simply because it’s unexpected. Remember, for an owner focused on running the day-to-day operations of his business, this offer is coming out of the blue. There are, of course, a number of […]

Coke plans to sell off all of its US manufacturing plants by 2017.

Pruning for Growth — the Power of Divestment

News in from Coca-Cola reminds us that growth is more about recalibration than it is about adding size. According to the Wall Street Journal, Coke plans to sell off all of its US manufacturing plants by 2017. Why would they do that? Coke has struggled with its asset heavy distribution over the past couple of […]

First Impressions

You Only Have One Chance to Make a Good First Impression

Think about the last time that you met somebody for the first time: a coworker, a friend, a romantic interest, or even a new barista at the coffee shop. When you first met this person, whether you consciously thought about it or not, you formed an impression of them, even though you didn’t really know […]

Capstone at nacuso 2016 conference

Snapshots from the 2016 NACUSO Annual Conference

Last week Capstone Managing Director John Dearing had the opportunity to attend the 2016 NACUSO Annual Conference on April 4-7, 2016. Over 400 people attended the Las Vegas event, exchanging ideas and listening to industry experts. Conference topics included investment services, insurance services, innovation and operations, technology, member business lending, mortgage services, and business development. Erik […]

Pfizer and Allergan Break Up – Lessons in Staying Ahead of Acquisition Hazards

Pfizer and Allergan Break Up: Lessons in Staying Ahead of M&A Hazards

Pfizer and Allergan have announced that they are abandoning their $160 billion merger. This resulted from a political storm around tax inversions, a technique whereby US companies relocate abroad to avoid the high US corporate tax rates. The Treasury department took action to insert new rules that effectively killed the financial benefits of the deal. […]

How to Break Bad News Without Sinking Your Acquisition

How to Break Bad News without Sinking Your Acquisition

Poor communication can really hamper your integration efforts, especially when you have to break bad news to your employees. When it comes to sharing an unpopular message, some executives try to sugar coat or beat around the bush. In my experience, avoidance tactics are not effective and just make employees angrier once they eventually find […]

Minority Investment

What is a Minority Investment?

Minority investments are a creative way to think about transactions, one that is often overlooked. When we create a transaction with a company, there is a spectrum of possible involvements—everything from an informal strategic alliance to a 100% acquisition. A minority investment is somewhere in between these extremes. Typically consisting of a quarter to a third […]

Why Disagreement on you M&A team is good

Why Disagreeing With Your M&A Team Is Good

You may be surprised I’m saying this, but vigorous arguments in your acquisition team can be a good thing. In fact, I would be alarmed if there was never any disagreement over a prospective purchase. Either someone is lying or afraid to speak up, unless your entire team is quite exceptionally in sync. Dissent can […]

What Is Happening with Valuation Multiples Today

What Is Happening with Valuation Multiples Today?

In 2015, record valuations drove a boom in mergers and acquisitions activity, leaving many to wonder when the deal bubble would burst. In 2015, US buyout firms paid an average of 10.3 times EBITDA compared with the previous record of an average 9.7 times multiple in 2007. Despite hitting a peak, valuations are still expected […]

LOI Audience

The LOI Audience: More than Just the Owner

Do you know who will read your letter of intent? Many assume that only the owner of the company you wish to purchase will read the LOI, but often there’s a wider audience. While the owner is your top priority, there are other likely readers of the LOI you need to consider: the board of […]

What Is Synergy

What Is Synergy?

When speaking about mergers and acquisitions you often hear the word “synergy” used to explain the rationale of a deal. Here are just a few examples from recent headlines: “The Renault-Nissan carmaking alliance expects to generate 5.5 billion euros ($6 billion) of synergies in 2018.” “[Sysco] said it believed it could achieve $600 million in […]

How Far to Integrate

M&A Express Videocast “How Far to Integrate” Airs April 5

With every acquisition you have a choice of how you will integrate the two entities. Often buyers assume a “winner-takes-all” approach where they impose their systems and culture on the acquired company. This is not always the best way to successful integration. In fact, it may be best to integrate some of the seller’s practices into your own […]

is a company good or bad?

Is a Company Good or Bad? Evaluating Your Acquisition Prospects

How can you tell a good company from a bad company? A lot of CEOs say that they trust their gut when it comes to acquisition targets, but unfortunately instincts and opinions aren’t enough. We need facts and metrics. We need real tools to generate quantifiable data about the companies we’re considering. M&A is a massive […]

State of Middle Market M&A 2015 Capstone

Survey Shows Middle Market Companies More Likely to Pursue M&A in 2016

Capstone’s survey of middle market executives shows 53% likely to pursue mergers and acquisitions in 2016 compared to 41% when last surveyed. Capstone surveyed middle market executives from multiple industries on their growth and M&A experience in 2015 and their outlook for 2016. The survey was conducted in December 2015, and followed a previous survey in 2014. […]

M&A Integration 100-Day-Plan

M&A Integration: The 100-Day Plan

Whenever I am consulting on an integration program, I introduce a critical component I call the 100-Day Plan. I’ve found that when companies get the 100-Day Plan right, the likelihood for a successful integration is extremely high. But if you don’t implement the 100-Day Plan at the beginning, integration generally doesn’t go well. Why is […]

Build a Robust Pipeline of Acquisition Prospects

How to Build a Robust Pipeline of Acquisition Prospects

Finding the right partner is a crucial component of successful mergers and acquisitions and pursuing a deal with the wrong company can be a costly mistake. We’ve all seen the headlines of major mergers and acquisitions that have fallen apart at some point along the deal – whether it’s before the transaction closes or during integration. […]

10 Signs You Should Walk Away from a Deal

10 Signs You Should Walk Away from a Deal

Do you know when to walk away from a transaction? After all that hard work putting together an acquisition —not to mention the costs in both time and money—it might seem unthinkable to give up on a deal. But you should be on the lookout for these 10 warning signs during the transaction process. They may […]

Capstone VALET Program Partner

Capstone Selected for Award-Winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program

For more than 10 years, Capstone has served as a Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program Partner. The program, run by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, helps businesses expand internationally. We are excited to continue offering our expertise in strategic planning and external growth to assist companies in realizing their international growth goals. Helping […]

DSW Acquires Ebuys

DSW Uses Targeted Acquisition to Expand Online and Abroad

Reflecting the growth of ecommerce, shoe retailer DSW will acquire Ebuys, Inc., the company announced on February 17.  At $62 million, the acquisition may seem tiny compared to such newsmakers as Sysco’s $3.1 billion deal to acquire Brakes Group or IBM’s $2.6 billion deal to acquire Truven Health Analytics. But there are opportunities to learn […]