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.

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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

Verizon Yahoo Acquisition

Verizon Builds Digital Ad Business with Yahoo Acquisition

Another blockbuster tech deal was announced yesterday. Verizon will acquire Yahoo’s core business for $4.83 billion to boost its digital advertising capabilities. The deal includes Yahoo’s search, mail content and ad-tech business, but does not include Yahoo’s shares in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. The combined company will reach over one billion users. Verizon plans to merge Yahoo […]

M&A Sunk Costs

Are Sunk Costs Driving Your Acquisition?

You’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money on an acquisition…but should you still go through with it? In answering this question, it can be tempting to cite the amount of resources that have already been invested as reasons to follow through with the deal, but this would be a mistake. These sunk costs […]

Remembering the Human Factor in M&A

Remembering the Human Factor in M&A

For an owner of a privately-held company, the business is their baby and using hard-nosed tactics to negotiate for the lowest price is ill-advised. The human factor cannot be overlooked when pursuing M&A and establishing trust with an owner is critical. Buying a privately-held business is not like buying a car where you can negotiate the […]

How to Be Successful in M&A: Think Integration

How to Be Successful in M&A: Think Integration

You’ve developed your strategy, identified the right markets, negotiated with the owner and papered the deal. If you think once you sign on the dotted line your job is done, you are mistaken. The M&A process doesn’t end when the deal closes. M&A is really a journey “from beginning to beginning” where the consummation of […]

Brexit How business leaders should react

The Results of “Brexit”– How Business Leaders Should React

On June 23 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (E.U.). Many were shocked at the outcome of “Brexit” and the markets reacted badly. The day following the vote, the pound dropped down to the lowest level against the dollar since 1985, stocks in the U.K. and U.S. fell, and on June 27 […]

3 Ways to Get a Fresh Perspective on Growth

3 Ways to Get a Fresh Perspective on Business Growth

It can be easy to get stuck in the rut and slip into a routine. Far too often leaders stay the course simply because “it’s how we’ve always done things.” However unintentionally maintaining business as usual can be extremely dangerous for the future of your organization. The reality is that as time passes, your markets, […]

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn 1140

Microsoft and LinkedIn Use Acquisition to Combat Stagnant Growth

Microsoft has agreed to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. This is a massive transaction in the marketplace and is the largest acquisition by Microsoft to-date. At $196 per share, Microsoft will pay a 50% premium over LinkedIn’s closing shares on Friday, June 10. LinkedIn will continue to operate as a separate entity. There is also $725 […]

How to avoid irrational decisionmaking in M&A

How to Avoid Irrational Decision-Making in M&A

Most people tend to go with their “gut” when making decisions rather than relying on the accurate data. You might think you’re the exception, but studies conducted by psychologists Daniel Kahnerman and Amos Tversky show that “when it comes to decision-making, humans are predisposed to irrationality.” No one likes to think of themselves in this […]

When Is the Best Time for M&A

When Is the Best Time to Do M&A?

Some might say the best time to pursue an acquisition is when the right opportunity comes along, but they’re wrong. The best time to pursue M&A is whenever you are ready. The best opportunities are those that you seek out proactively. If you wait around for opportunity to come to you, you may be missing […]

Should You Leave Negotiation to Experts

Should You Leave Negotiating to the Experts?

Negotiating during an acquisition can be tricky at times. How firm should you be? What does the other side really want? How can you get the seller on board? It can be tempting to hand it over to the experts when you reach this point, but this would be a mistake. During negotiations, your primary […]

Deal Changer or Deal Breaker

Deal Changer or Deal Breaker? Assessing Risk in Due Diligence

During formal due diligence, which typically begins after signing the letter of intent, you gain access to in-depth information and begin taking a closer look at the acquisition target. Traditionally the primary purpose of this stage of the M&A is to identify significant risks that could impact the terms of the deal or put it […]

Will Bayer Acquire Monsanto - Lessons for M&A Middle Market

Will Bayer Acquire Monsanto? Lessons for the Middle Market

Monsanto has rejected Bayer’s all-cash $62 billion bid, but says it is open to negotiations. A combination of Bayer and Monsanto would create the largest seed and pesticide business globally with $67 billion in sales. While you may not be creating an agricultural behemoth with your acquisition, there are a few lessons we can learn […]

How to Measure Culture

How to Measure Company Culture

Culture is an important part of an organization, but it can be difficult to define. Unlike other areas, such as finance and operations, which have concrete metrics like revenue, EBITDA, and number of employees, quantitatively measuring culture can be challenging. Leaders often rely on their “gut” to understand another company’s culture, but this leaves an […]

Mixed reports on middle market growth

Mixed Reports on Middle Market Growth

Middle market deal activity reached its lowest level since 2009, according to Mergers & Acquisitions. This may be a result of concerns about the upcoming U.S. presidential election and because banks are shying away from lending to private equity-backed deals. While middle market M&A activity is down, when compared to 2015 levels, the middle market […]

Strategic Buyers Hungry for Acquisitions

Strategic Buyers Hungry for Acquisitions

Recent analysis shows that deal activity reached $435 billion in the first quarter of 2016 in North America and Europe. This is the second highest total on record and 84% of the deals were executed by strategic buyers. Companies with lots of cash on their balance sheets and are now willing to deploy some of it […]

4 Ways to Maximize Effectiveness of Due Diligence

4 Ways to Maximize the Effectiveness of Due Diligence

Due diligence is an important step in the acquisition process that comes prior to closing a deal. Most people think about due diligence from a risk assessment standpoint or as a checklist of items that must be completed in order to move the deal forward. Traditional reasons for undertaking due diligence include evaluating strengths and […]

Do you really understand the seller?

Do You Really Understand the Seller?

We recently had a situation where our client, the buyer, was pursuing the acquisition of one of their suppliers. The buyer expected the process to be relatively easy because he and the seller had known each other for years. However, when he tried to speak to the owner about possibly selling his company, he was […]

What not to say to an owner in your first meeting

What Not to Say to an Owner in Your First Meeting

When meeting an owner for the first time, your goal is not to instantly sign a deal. You first want to get to know them and make them feel comfortable about selling their business to you. In order to do this, there are some important questions to ask and subjects to broach, which I’ve covered […]

Warren Buffett Advice for Strategic Acquirers

The Most Important Thing about M&A According to Warren Buffett

Last week, thousands of investors gathered at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha. Warren Buffett, perhaps one of the greatest strategic acquirers, shared his insights for successful acquisitions. There are two pearls of Buffett wisdom, reported direct from the meeting by Dealbook that I’d like to highlight in this post. Looking at the Big […]

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 […]