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 […]

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With every acquisition you have a choice of how you will integrate the two entities. Often buyers assume a “winner-takes-all” approach where they impose their systems and culture on the acquired company. This is not always the best way to successful integration. In fact, it may be best to integrate some of the seller’s practices into your own […]

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Culture can often be neglected simply because it is difficult to measure, especially when compared to hard facts such as number of employees or company revenue. After all, what constitutes a “good” culture? Definitions may vary from company to company and even among members of your own acquisition team. Despite this challenge, company culture should […]

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Culture clashes can make or break a deal. Just think about a few infamous deals that fell apart, such as the Time Warner-AOL merger in 2001. In Deals from Hell, Robert Bruner analyzes the reasons for failure in depth along, including examples of deals that failed due to cultural issues. In fact, cultural issues are […]

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How well do you really know your company? If you’re the owner or the CEO, you might say you have a pretty good handle on it. After all, you’ve been there since the beginning and you’re the leader. While that might be true, you may not really know everything about your organization. I’ll give you […]

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Integration is key area of concern for many involved in mergers and acquisitions. According to a survey by Deloitte, 37% of directors and 43% of CFOs named post-deal integration as their top concern. About 47% of executives believe “people problems” in M&A are more prominent now than 12 months ago. So how can we overcome […]

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Pubicis and Omnicom have called off their proposed $35 billion merger that would have created the largest advertising agency in the world. According to reports, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy and Omnicom CEO John Wren disagreed over many details, including filling key management positions and corporate structure. This comes as no surprise to me. Ten months […]

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When Enterprise Rent-A-Car acquired Alamo and National in 2007 it didn’t “swallow up” its new brands during integration. Instead, it made a conscious effort to learn from and integrate best practices from both parties. As Executive Chairman Andrew Taylor explains in the Harvard Business Review, “…In the process we also learned a lot about ourselves […]

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In 2013, we saw interesting mergers & acquisitions across multiple industries, ranging from hot tech deals like Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr to the rescue of favorite food brand Twinkies from bankruptcy by Metropolous & Co. and Apollo Global Management. While the potential synergies of the two companies are always laid out, not much is said […]

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Buying the right company is essential, but it is difficult.  It may be easier to eliminate the “wrong” companies – prospects with glaring due diligence issues such as theft or lawsuits, or even more subjective issues like a poor cultural fit. However, the decision is not always so black and white. How can you know […]

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Cultural alignment while integrating two companies is a hot topic in the M&A world.  For instance, CFO.com recently quoted Jonathan Chadwick as saying, “The number-one reason I think deals fail is because there was not an agreement or a matching of cultures.” Should you have any doubts, read about Kidder-Peabody inside of GE. Those cultures […]

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According to a recent Deloitte study, CFOs and board directors identified integration failure as “the greatest cause for concern in achieving M&A success.” This insight comes as no big surprise to me. After all, the integration of companies is a major operation that requires skill, diligence and patience. Integration may come at the end of the buying […]

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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 […]

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