SUCCESSFUL ACQUISITIONS

M&A Insights from David Braun and Other Experts

Latest Articles

Acquisition Is A Journey — Do You Have A Map?

  The statistics are frightening. By most reckonings, 77% of company acquisitions fail. That failure rate has nothing to do with luck. It is the telltale statistic of widespread ignorance. Now when I say “ignorance” I don’t mean lack of expertise. That’s the paradox.    I often encounter clients who tell me, “Yes, we have […]

M&A 2009: A Book In The Works

  If you want to read a decent book on M&A, be prepared to spend $70 or $80, and set aside several days to plough through a heavy-duty tome for business students. There are exceptions, but for the average business reader there’s remarkably little to guide you through our world of deals.   So I’m […]

The growth ceiling

The Growth Ceiling And How To Break It

“Our strategic plan calls for us to double our size…” I hear it often. As a plan, it’s usually very successful in doubling the stress of frustrated executives. By massive efforts to improve products and smarten the marketing, they can get revenues from $100 million to $125 million. But $200 million? They pay lip service to […]

From “Doing Fine” To “Stepping Up”

The year is closing out and it’s budget season again, a time to look ahead to 2009. Despite the chilly economic climate, there are plenty of companies doing pretty nicely thank you. At Capstone we have a number of successful clients who have their current operations nailed down. Products are selling, customers are loyal and […]

Light On The Horizon For M&A

Dark times on Wall Street and gloom in the real economy… but for companies seeking external growth there are gleams of hope from distant quarters. Funds continue to pour into the US from abroad. I just spent time with an economic development group hosting a contingent of matchmakers from China — entrepreneurial types looking for […]

A New Monster Hybrid – Can A Merger Help?

I was asked the other day what can be learned from the possible merger of GM and Chrysler. Specifically, what might this union of giants teach the M&A market lower down the food chain? As I’ve said elsewhere, this is a time when corporate mergers can appeal to those struggling with a hostile economic climate. […]

The Rise of the SPACs

When it comes to funding acquisitions, banks are still holding tight to their money — unless you count the special case of banks buying other banks, which is causing quite a stir in the wake of the government bailout. The fact is, this is still a tough time for M&A, especially in what I have […]

M&A After The Vote

Writing this post on November 5th, one is bound to be thinking about the outlook for M&A under a new Democratic government.  The people I do business with are looking at two major unknowns: tax and regulation. Both are cause for concern as the political map gets redrawn, and both may have a depressing effect […]

Mergers Or Acquisitions?

Watch out for one defensive M&A strategy in times of financial stress. Instead of selling, weaker companies under threat may seek mergers with other victims of the crisis. Expect to see quiet talks between struggling competitors, looking for ways to wring out the costs and create a new, stronger entity.

Why Are Banks Suddenly Being Nice?

A short while ago, banks were pressuring struggling companies and seemed only too eager to move them into the “distressed” category, or effectively force them to sell. Recently, there’s been a dramatic reversal of attitude. The last things banks want on their hands is a host of collapsing companies. So you’ll find a very liberal […]

Seller Beware

I’ve noticed some company buyers willfully slowing down the acquisition process at this time. Why? They smell bankruptcy in the air. The longer they can string out the negotiations, the more desperate the seller’s condition and the lower the price. It’s tough for sellers to defend themselves in this environment. I’ve noticed some company buyers willfully slowing […]

Private Equity Is Quietly Waiting

What I called “the wedge” in my post, The Wedge: M&A from $1B – $10B, is the natural hunting ground of private equity. And this is where we can expect the least activity during a crisis of credit. These buyers hate to put in 100% equity. They like a good measure of debt in the […]

A Buyer’s Market in M&A

In every crisis there are winners as well as losers. Today companies seeking growth through acquisition can pick up bargains — if they have the cash. Small, over-leveraged companies are choosing to sell rather than go to the wall. As for the publicly traded corporations, they are under pressure from shareholders to get out of […]

The Softer Side of Mergers and Acquisitions

The Softer Side of Mergers and Acquisitions

A common error in the M&A game is to over-delegate the process to the financial team. I had a highly successful client who put an entire acquisition in the hands of his CFO. Like many (but not all) of his kind, this financial executive could only see or understand spreadsheets. He had zero patience for […]

M&A — THE OLD & THE NEW

There is an old way and a new way to go about the M&A process, and it’s essential to know the difference. I had a client that perfectly exemplified the old way. She would be regularly approached by investment bankers hawking “the book” on a company they had for sale. She would listen to the […]

Why Buy? The Case for Growth through Acquisition

The right acquisition can dramatically accelerate your company’s growth. Sadly, great opportunities are widely missed, especially in the mid-market. Many companies shy away because the whole field of M&A seems too intimidating. There are others who attempt acquisitions and are disappointed by the outcome, often because they try to follow a rote system overly focused […]

Private Equity Steps Back From Acquisitions

This isn’t the time to be down on private equity. They aren’t the bad guys and they brought a lot of value to companies in recent years. But the growth economics have changed. Private equity buyers have wrung out much of the financial value from these companies. When it comes to business acquisitions, it’s time […]

A Win For Strategy

Much of the buildup that’s been happening over recent years in the residential mortgage market is similar to what has been going on in the commercial market. It’s all about financial engineering. Typically, the financial investor looks at an acquisition and says: “Let’s restructure the balance sheet so that the company doesn’t fundamentally change. We […]

The Return of Simplicity in M&A

When the smoke clears and the dust settles, what does the Wall Street meltdown mean? We’re back to cash is king. The Golden Rule has been restored: he who has the gold, makes the rules. It’s a return to old-fashioned investing. Companies with strong balance sheets and lots of cash are moving in to make […]

Dollar Blues? Currency Value and Mergers & Acquisitions

In the current crisis, people are rightly concerned about a declining dollar and its impact on all aspects of business, including Mergers and Acquisitions. Outbound, the weaker dollar is making it more difficult for US companies to make acquisitions abroad, because they’re now more expensive. On the inbound side the impact has been positive. We’ve […]