David Braun

About

David Braun is the founder and CEO of Capstone Strategic and author of Successful Acquisitions: A Proven Plan for Growth. His specialty is helping companies grow through acquisition.

Through consistent focus on this one specialty, David has built up a formidable expertise that has led to an acquisition success rate way beyond the industry average.

David Braun is a sought-after educator who has been teaching senior executives and financial professionals for over 21 years. His live seminars and online webinars are in high demand, and his blog is widely read by M&A professionals, business owners and all who wish to understand the dynamics of growth through company acquisition.

Popular

Market Criteria, Market Research

Markets First

I always emphasize to my clients the critical value of painstaking market research and selection before considering individual prospects. Simply by conducting thorough research, you immediately separate yourself from the majority of company buyers and place yourself at an important competitive advantage. Choosing Market Criteria Choosing the correct market criteria may be tricky. Here are […]

Pathways to Growth

Five Pathways to Growth

As you focus your attention on the growth of your company, there are five key pathways to consider: Grow Organically Exit the Market Be the Low-Cost Provider Do Nothing Pursue External Growth Before you even start planning an acquisition, remember there are other growth options available. It is an important realization that you do have […]

Cultural Integration Publicis Omnicom

Publicis-Omnicom Merger May Face Cultural Integration Challenges

The merger between two advertising giants Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group has caused quite a stir. The two companies combined to form Publicis Omnicom Group would have stock-market value of $35.1 billion, making this the largest advertising merger ever. Although Chief Executive Maurice Levy and CEO John Wren both stress this is a “merger of […]

Recent Posts

Is Middle Market M&A on the Rebound

Is Middle Market M&A on the Rebound?

Middle market M&A rose in October and dealmakers expect robust activity for the remainder of 2016, according to a survey by Mergers & Acquisitions. Survey participants expect more companies will be inclined to execute deals once the uncertainty of the U.S. presidential election has passed. Overall M&A in 2016 has dropped significantly when compared to […]

Firms Use Acquisition to Stay Ahead of the Curve

Firms Use Acquisition to Stay Ahead of the Curve

Are you keeping up with industry changes fast enough? Or are you being left behind? It’s no secret that technology is disrupting industries from manufacturing to telecommunications to retail. “…The risk of being left behind because of technological disruption and change is driving companies to make acquisitions faster,” Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in Dealbook. For many […]

5 Ways Minority Interest Helps You Grow

5 Ways Minority Interest Helps You Grow

Private equity firms are increasingly acquiring minority interests in public companies in order to grow, according to the Wall Street Journal. The landscape for PE is changing. Firms are facing tough competition from strategic acquirers who have cash on their balance sheets and are typically willing to spend more on an acquisition. At the same […]

Will Your Acquisition Fall Apart?

Will Your Acquisition Fall Apart?

While it’s an important milestone, a signed letter of intent does not guarantee a successful acquisition. Just ask Pfizer who withdrew its $150 billion bid to acquire Allergan after signing a LOI. Pfizer ended up paying a breakup fee of $150 million. After the LOI is signed, you still have a few major steps to take before the acquisition […]

ATT Time Warner Acquisition

Content Is King: AT&T to Acquire Time Warner

Seeking growth amid a shifting telecommunications industry, AT&T has bet on media content. The company plans to acquire Time Warner for $85 billion in one of the biggest media acquisitions in history. The transaction will likely take over a year to receive regulatory approval, but both AT&T and Time Warner executives are optimistic. AT&T CEO Randall […]

Verify Acquisition Target Unaudited Financials

How to Verify an Acquisition Target’s Unaudited Financials

Obtaining audited financial statements is always best when valuing an acquisition prospect. An audit enhances your confidence and ensures what management has presented is a “true and fair” view of the company’s financial performance and position. We run into plenty of privately-held, middle market companies that don’t have audited financial statements. Many have their financial […]

Can You Conduct Thorough Due Diligence When Data Is Missing?

Can You Conduct Thorough Due Diligence When Data Is Missing?

One of the challenges of due diligence is that you often do not have access to all the data. Of course you want to know every last detail about the acquisition prospect so you can make the best decision. Unfortunately, the real world is never perfect. The prospect may have an incomplete or no record of the […]

David Braun Dog to Wall St

Successful Acquisitions Begin with Trust

Trust is everything. As leaders, we can forget this during the excitement of a deal. We can get caught up in reviewing financials, bogged down in the details of due diligence, or absorbed in mountains of research and completely forget about the humans involved in the transaction. When you take a moment to think, it’s […]

Marriott Starwood Loyaly Program Integrate

Marriott Begins Integrating Loyalty Programs

Just this Sunday, I received an email about the Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards combining with Starwood Preferred Guest. According to the email and Marriott’s website, the three loyalty programs will be linked, but operate as independent programs. Marriott does not expect to merge the programs any time before 2018. Marriott International first announced it […]

Yahoo Hack Shows Need for Functional Due Diligence

Yahoo Cyberattack Highlights Need for Functional Due Diligence in M&A

Yahoo says the private information of at least 500 million has been compromised due to a cyber-attack in 2014. In the biggest security breach to date, hackers gained access to sensitive information including names, emails addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and security questions. The security breach has ramifications not just for Yahoo and its […]

Ford Acquires Chariot, Repositions as Mobility Company

Ford Acquires Chariot, Repositions as Mobility Company

Ford announced it would acquire Chariot, a shuttle-van startup based in San Francisco, in order to expand beyond auto manufacturing and become a mobility company. This is the first acquisition by Ford Smart Mobility, which was established in March of 2016 in order to focus on “emerging mobility services.” Ford reportedly paid $65 million for […]

New Opportunities for Middle Market Growth

New Opportunities for Middle Market Growth

Middle market companies have faced many challenges to growth, but the tide is now turning. Previously, we had observed the dumbbell effect, where at either end of the spectrum massive corporations and small businesses flourished while middle market companies were caught in between. Unlike large multinational corporations, many middle market companies cannot leverage the same […]

What do you have to offer an owner

What Do You Have to Offer an Owner?

“Why should I let you buy my company?” Chances are an owner will ask you this question during the course of your acquisition and you must have a convincing answer. While the strategic fit and benefits of an acquisition may be abundantly clear to you, an owner may not share your perspective. As a leader, […]

Capstone Launches the M&A Growth Bulletin - Quarterly Newsletter

Launching the New M&A Growth Bulletin

I am excited to announce the launch of our new quarterly newsletter, The M&A Growth Bulletin. This newsletter will deliver essential guidance on growth through M&A along with tips and tactics drawn directly from successful transactions completed in the market. In the first issue of The M&A Growth Bulletin, we will address five common objections leaders […]

What Is a Company Really Like? Uncovering the Truth in Due Diligence

During due diligence most companies will present you with their formal documents including HR manuals, procedures, financials and organizational charts. It’s not enough to rely on these documents alone; if you want to know what a company is really like, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper. One way to go beyond the surface is […]

walmart acquires jet

Walmart Acquires Jet.com: Integration Strategies for Buyers

Walmart will acquire web retailer Jet.com for $3.3 billion in order to boost its online business. The deal is the largest ever purchase of U.S. e-commerce startup. While Walmart has plenty of bricks and mortar stores, the company has struggled to grow its online business. Walmart knows it needs to be competitive with Amazon who […]

3 Ways to Maintain Momentum in M&A

3 Ways to Maintain Momentum from LOI to Close

After signing a letter of intent, you expect the deal to close, but there are a number of reasons acquisitions fail ranging from regulatory hurdles to unexpected challenges that arise during due diligence to cultural clashes. In my last post, I discussed reasons deals fall apart even after both parties sign a LOI. Here are […]

3 Reasons Deals Fall Apart Post LOI

3 Reasons Deals Fall Apart Post Letter of Intent

Remember that just because a deal is announced, it doesn’t mean it will go through. A record number of M&A transactions announced in 2015 have been cancelled bringing the total deal value down from $4.374 trillion to $78 billion. Unfortunately cancelled deals mean a lot of time, resources and effort were wasted putting together these […]

Unilever Buys Dollar Shave

Why Unilever Paid $1 Billion for Unprofitable Dollar Shave Club

Unilever purchased Dollar Shave Club, a startup that sells razors and grooming products to men, for $1 billion. That price may seem absurd for a company that is not yet profitable, however Dollar Shave club is growing quickly. The company’s revenue is expected to jump from $152 million in 2015 to $200 million in 2016. Dollar […]

Integration is a Top Factor for Acquisition Success

Integration is a Top Factor for Acquisition Success

One of the primary reasons acquisitions fail is because of integration challenges post-closing. Implementing your integration plan smoothly and effectively is key to realizing the synergies of your acquisition. In a KPMG survey, U.S. executives cited a well-executed integration plan as the top factor that leads to deal success. Integration is a massive undertaking that you […]