M&A Insights from David Braun and Other Experts

Latest Articles

A Record Number of Consumer Product Deals

According to the Wall Street Journal,  November 2009 was the biggest month in over a year for deals involving consumer products and food and drinks firms, with $12.54 billion in acquisitions.  And it doesn’t look like this momentum will be stopped.  Kettle Chips, Just for Men and Grecian Formula hair-coloring products, Aqua Velva cologne, Brylcreem hair […]

Little Orphan Product Lines

Our buy-side clients at Capstone are seeing the same trend that a recent Reuters article reported: “Companies are making moves to divest assets that are not essential to their operations, while stronger firms, nudged on by their boards and shareholders, are looking to grow and position themselves for the recovery.”  This leads to numerous “orphan” non-core product […]

A "Commitment to External Growth"

A recent round table of corporate dealmakers at a conference sponsored by The Deal offered some interesting insights into the strategy mindset of some of the largest corporations in America.  All of the panelists expressed a “commitment to external growth.” Two observations stood out to me. First, Sean Murphy of Abbott Labs said they are […]

Vertical or Horizontal?

There is a trend afoot for firms to become more vertically integrated – controlling their supply sources, manufacturing, and distribution channels.  A few recent examples include Oracle acquiring Sun Microsystems to integrate hardware and software and H-P acquiring EDS to capture more consulting and professional services revenue, along with buying 3Com to capture more customers.  […]

Beyond Acquisition: Illy on the JV Team

The next time you visit your local (i.e. NOT Starbucks) coffee shop, pay attention to whether they touting that they are exclusively brewing a particular brand of coffee. If they are, there is an increasing likelihood that it is Illy, a premium Italian coffee brand.  Instead of opening dozens of new coffee houses, or acquiring […]

Does Geographic Expansion Make Sense for You?

These are tough times for the legal profession.  Here in Washington, DC, one of the lawyer-capitals of the world,  it’s difficult to go a block without running into a recently graduated law student who’s looking for a job.  In these tough times, many law firms, large and small, are looking for a way to grow […]

Trillion with a T

Over and over on this blog, I have strongly advocated external growth to complement organic growth.  Today the largest 500 non-financial American firms have nearly $1 Trillion in cash and short-term investments on their balance sheets.  That’s Trillion with a ‘T’! This represents roughly 9.8% of their assets.  What does that tell me?  Companies are […]

Preparing for A Crisis

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week, many Mom-and-Pop operations lack formal crisis plans – and are shutting down as a result of the current economy.  In our experience, this lack of planning is not limited to family enterprises.  It is disturbing how many firms – small, medium and even large – lack […]

Strategic M&A Leads the Way!

The M&A statistics for the third quarter of 2009 are in and show the vast majority of the deals getting done are strategic.  The economic crisis and concerns over deal financing continued to significantly hold down the number and value of deals when compared to the same period last year.  Today, a Wall Street Journal […]

Keeping an Eye on the Government

A story in the news last week caught my eye – U.S. antitrust enforcers are planning to revamp merger guidelines.  This isn’t surprising news – there have been expectations for quite awhile that the Obama administration was going to take a closer look at large corporate mergers.  It also won’t affect the vast majority of […]

Capstone Webinar: Keys to Integration Success

Capstone Webinar: Keys to Integration Success Thursday, September 17, 2009; 1:00 PM ET Hosted by David Braun, Capstone CEO Join Capstone CEO David Braun as he leads a webinar on how to successfully plan and execute the integration of two companies. The closing of a deal is the fruition of months — even years — […]

The Secret to Integration Success

The Secret to Integration Success

There are countless books on how to effectively integrate two companies after an acquisition.  Some stress “communication” while others put the emphasis on “culture”.  While both concepts are important, neither is the key to integration success.  In my experience, the single best thing you can do to ensure a smooth integration is to buy the […]

The M&A Revival?

Three recent deals are being heralded as “the revival” of the M&A market.  Although the linked article captures some of the larger buy-side deals (for example Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel) that are now beginning to emerge, we here at Capstone are seeing a similar trend in the area of the market where we […]

Strategic Buyers Lead the Way

Strategic Buyers Lead the Way

PWC released its second quarter report on M&A activity in the industrial products sector.  Two items from the report stood out for me.  First, M&A activity in the second quarter actually rose compared to the first quarter of 2009 (although still down significantly compared to last year).  This could be a sign that some of […]

Capstone Webinar: A New Look at Due Diligence

On Friday, August 21, 2009, Capstone will be hosting a webinar on maximizing the time and effort put into due diligence in the acquisition process. Due diligence has traditionally been seen as a “check the box”  exercise – you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a target, uncover liabilities and understand risk in order to […]

Video: Synergy: Does 1+1=3?

In another installment of our video series, I discuss what “Synergy” really means.  Synergy is a word that gets bandied around a lot in the world of M&A.  When discussing potential deals, companies often try to justify a mediocre deal by talking about all of the synergies that will result.  Really, though there are only […]

Cisco – A Shining Example

There was an excellent profile in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal of Cisco Systems and its CEO, John Chambers. Cisco is a company that “gets it”.  In some of the most difficult economic conditions of our lifetime, Cisco is not hiding its head in the sand.  Here is Chambers’ philosophy: Even in this downturn, we […]

The Middle-Market on Top

It seems that in the world of private equity, middle-market funds are enjoying the greatest success in this bleak deal-making landscape.  The main reason given: …small and middle-market firms are getting the attention of the PE shops because they can be had without piling on gobs of debt Right now, they are also considered a […]

Be Brave in the New Economic World

A recent study confirms what we’ve been saying for months: companies that are bold in these troubled economic times will reap the benefits of their actions.  As the study’s authors state: “Companies with M&A in mind should be emboldened by our analysis: fortune favors the brave. Fears that M&A is riskier post-Lehman seem to be […]

The M&A Power Shift Continues

Back in December, I noted (and agreed with) one author’s proclamation that in the current economy, the balance of power in M&A has shifted from sellers to buyers.  The main reason:  With the credit market in a crunch, cash is king, and cash-rich companies hold a distinct advantage. As these survey results show, this trend […]