M&A Insights from David Braun and Other Experts

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Ensuring a Smooth Succession

This post was submitted by Capstone Project Manager Gretchen Johnson: Experts say that the death of a business owner could mean the end of the company without a sound strategy. Rather than a single, dramatic moment, the smooth succession of a business is a series of events. Like a relay race, a company transition should […]

Paradox or Paradigm?

This post was submitted by Capstone Senior Vice President Wes Teague: Are we living in a period of paradox, or under a new paradigm? Interest rates are at all-time lows (and have been for a sustained period); many corporate coffers are flush with unused (and unearning) cash; trillions of investment dollars are on the sidelines […]

Valuation Basics and More

This post was written by Capstone Managing Director John Dearing: A client recently asked us to help with VALUATION on a deal they had in their pipeline.  It started off innocently enough.  Walking through Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) basics, adjusting the model to make it more user friendly, and adding terminal value to their model. […]

Dell vs. HP

Dell and HP are fighting each other to have 3PAR’s hand in marriage. It all formally started on August 16th with Dell attempting to acquire 3Par for  $18/share. Then on August 23rd, HP entered the race and raised the ante to $24/share.  On August 26, Dell raised its offer again to $24.30/share for an enterprise […]

$11.5 Billion of Fuel

This has been an amazing past couple of weeks for the future of the M&A market.  Monday, August 2, was the sixth most active day of debt trading this year with $11.5 Billion placed according to Dealogic.    IBM raised $1.5B of 3-year debt for an astonishing 1%! Other takers of debt were ArcelorMittal, Citigroup, Credit […]

Sometimes You Have to Give to Get

This post was contributed by Capstone Senior Vice President Wes Teague: Lockheed Martin (LM), one of the country’s largest government contractors, recently announced its intention to sell or spin off one of its oldest and profitable units, the Enterprise Integration Group.  The EIG,  a unit of LM for 42 years and with revenues of over […]

A Note on Meeting Notes

This post was submitted by Capstone Managing Director John Dearing: When you meet with a target company OWNER, make sure you capture your thoughts immediately thereafter. There are several reasons this is important: 1. You will (if properly prepared) undoubtedly gain valuable insights into the inner workings of the company 2. This data should be […]

Capstone Webinar: "The First Date": Contacting Owners and Successful First Meetings

“The First Date”: Contacting Owners and Successful First Meetings CPE Credit Awarded Thursday, July, 29 2010; 11:00 AM ET Hosted by David Braun, Capstone CEO David Braun, CEO of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Project Manager Gretchen Johnson. Having identified the target companies you would like […]

Private Equity On the Sidelines

Private Equity Still On the Sidelines, but the Clock is Ticking

Private equity fundraising from 82 closed funds totaled only $41 Billion in the second quarter – the lowest level since 2003, according to the Private Equity Professional Digest. This is important news for strategic buyers because it continues to demonstrate that financial buyers will remain limited in their M&A activity – but that the clock […]

The Plan is to Never Stop Planning

When is enough planning, enough? As strategic buyers, our clients are constantly seeking additional data on acquisition prospects.  This is not a bad perspective, but it does become an issue when they don’t have the ideal data set for evaluation purposes established at the beginning of the process – to compare candidates to each other […]

Establishing a Baseline for Negotiation

Negotiations, whether between individuals, businesses or even countries are nothing more than a process in which concerned parties come to an agreement that serves everyone’s best interests. Instead of one dominating or imposing power over the other, the parties attempt to reach a consensus in which everyone is satisfied. When preparing to negotiate you need […]

Capstone Webinar: How to Find Top-Notch Companies

John Dearing, Managing Director of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Analyst Bob Kwaja. You’ve formulated your acquisition strategy.  You’ve assembled your growth team. You’ve researched and selected the top markets for growth.  Now, let Capstone show you how to find the best acquisition targets in those […]

Caterpillar Pounces on Locomotive Deal

Caterpillar announced it is acquiring Electro-Motive Diesel for $820 Million.  The company, which has revenues of about $1.8 billion is currently owned by two private equity firms who acquired it from General Motors in 2005 for around $200 million (read my other post about PE divesting before tax rates increase). Caterpillar already owns a railcar […]

Strategic Buyers "Carried" Opportunity

Congress is close to taxing “carried-interest” income on fund managers at 30% in 2011 from the current 15% capital gains rate. The rate is likely to go to 33% in 2013.  Congress may exclude the first 25% of income from this higher tax rate (which doesn’t really make sense to me) but the real story […]

Welcome To This Blog

For nearly two years, Mergers & Acquisitions Daily has brought you a fresh perspective to the ever-changing world of M&A. As a veteran practitioner, I have fashioned a new approach to the challenges of external growth — a systematic process that has resulted in numerous successful deals across multiple industries. In this blog I share […]

LOIs: A Marketing Opportunity

Two separate clients asked me for a Letter of Intent (LOI) sample within 48 hours.  Other typical questions include:  “What should an LOI contain (or not include)?” and “Why use an Memorandum of Understanding or a Term Sheet versus an LOI?” Capstone looks at an LOI (and all of its derivatives) as a “marketing” document.  […]

Strategy First… and Second… and Third

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how poorly large private equity deals have performed.   No wonder.  What value do they bring to the company?  Stripping off and selling key assets, re- re-leveraging the balance sheet.   How does this financial engineering grow or improve a company? Well, maybe some financial discipline is needed.  But […]

Capstone Webinar: Discovering the Right Markets for Growth

Capstone Webinar: Discovering the Right Markets for Growth David Braun, CEO of Washington, DC- based external growth consulting firm Capstone, is hosting a webinar with Capstone Senior Analyst Matt Craft. There is a unique opportunity in the next 12-15 months to grow your business through M&A.  However, before you start to go after acquisition prospects, […]

Market Drops 2%!

Nothing like today’s considerable drop in the market to remind everyone that the economy remains on shaky ground.  I stand by my past prediction that the market will not improve dramatically for another 12 months. This turmoil does two things.  It makes sellers more fearful that the bottom could fall out again and it may […]

One Reason for H-P

H-P is acquiring Palm for $1B and they say it is to position them further into the smartphone market which reportedly grew by over 60% last year.  H-P’s head of strategy, Shane Robison said “It’s an opportunity for us to get into a very big market”.   Understandable?  It is to me.  I’m not saying it’s […]