Negotiating for an acquisition is quite a bit different than any other type of negotiation. Unlike a debate or argument, where your goal is to soundly best the opposite side no matter the cost, in acquisition, you must achieve your goal while maintaining a positive relationship with the opposite side. This is because you’ll likely be working alongside the opposite party once the deal closes.

Especially in the case of strategic, not-for-sale acquisitions, the buyer will often keep the owner on at least for another one to two years – maybe even longer – to continue growing the business. If both sides hate each other, it’s unlikely the deal will work out in the long-term. You don’t want to have a strained relationship with the seller who may be integral to the newly merged company’s success. So how do you get what you want without souring a relationship?

Pick Your Battles Wisely

One of the tricks is to realize that not every issue is created equally, and it’s not necessary to argue over every last detail. Before you begin negotiating, you should understand your desired outcome and establish which items are essential and which ones you are willing to be flexible on. This way you compromise on certain issues and save your battles for the nonnegotiable items.

An Open Dialogue

A policy of openness and honesty is always helpful for fostering a relationship. While you may be tempted to storm off to “send a message” when discussions get heated, this rarely furthers discussion and only helps to create a discontent situation. Instead, try asking questions when you don’t agree or understand the seller’s perspective.

Hard-nosed negotiation tactics rarely work well in not-for-sale acquisitions. We’re not suggesting that you compromise your position by any means, but it’s important to think about the big picture and pick your battles wisely. Experienced strategic acquirers know negotiations are about more than beating the seller into submission. After all, the goal of acquisition is not to “win” the negotiation, but to put together a successful deal.

Learn more about negotiation for M&A in our upcoming webinar “Successful Negotiation Tactics” on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

After completing this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Explain the steps in building a negotiation platform
  • Describe effective tactics for getting what you want in a deal while protecting the relationship with the prospect
  • Detail how and when to bring legal counsel to the negotiating table
  • Outline a strategy to stake out three important details of any acquisition: Terms, Timing and Talent
  • Develop methods for broaching the issue of price and avoiding negotiation in circles

Successful Negotiation Tactics

Date: Thursday, June 8, 2017

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

CPE credit is available.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr, Public Domain, Modified by Capstone

 

Price is often the number one focus in mergers and acquisitions and everyone is eager to get down to the numbers.

However, as you might expect, buyers and sellers have very different expectations on price, which can lead to friction between the two parties. On the one hand, most sellers plan to offer their business to the highest bidder while buyers are looking for a cheap deal. Given the opposite viewpoints, it can be difficult to broach the issue of price and come to an agreement.

The best way to bridge this gap is to make sure you don’t focus on price as a primary driver for the acquisition. Before you even begin talking about dollars and cents, you should make sure the deal makes sense. Initially you should communicate the strategic value of why an acquisition between your two companies makes sense. This is a critical step, especially when approaching owners of not-for-sale companies. Aligning your vision with the owner’s vision prior to even discussion the details of a potential deal (such as price or deal structure) is paramount.

Once you’ve achieved strategic alignment and you begin negotiations, you must think about what you can offer an owner in addition to price that will convince him or her to sell to you. Money is a strong motivator, but it’s not the only motivator. As a buyer, you must identify the nonfinancial factors in addition to price that will motivate an owner to sell. Understanding the owner’s psychology is key to building a mutually beneficial deal.

Owners do sell their businesses for many reasons other than high price including:

  • Age – They may want to retire and are burned out
  • Family – They may have no heir to take over the business or their spouse may be nagging them to retire
  • Insecurity and risk – Selling now while the business is performing well may mitigate their risk
  • Excitement – They simply are excited to be considered for acquisition, because of the prestige or a possible financial windfall

Achieving strategic alignment before discussing price as well as identifying the issues that matter the most to the owner can help you bridge the gap between your number and theirs. When you approach owners with a complete understanding of all the different factors that are important to them – age, community, family, financial, and risk – you increase your chances of building a successful acquisition.

After signing a letter of intent, you expect the deal to close, but there are a number of reasons acquisitions fail ranging from regulatory hurdles to unexpected challenges that arise during due diligence to cultural clashes. In my last post, I discussed reasons deals fall apart even after both parties sign a LOI. Here are three ways to make sure your deal stays intact and reaches the finish line.

1. Strategy First!

Using strategy as your guiding principal is helpful in all steps of the M&A process. As you finalize your deal, continue communicating your shared vision for the newly merged company with the owner. It will be easier to reach an agreement and smooth over negotiations if both parties agree on the direction of the acquisition. Make sure both you and the seller keep the big picture in mind and are aligned on strategy.

2. Understand the Seller’s Perspective

Many owners have a strong emotional attachment to their company; it’s their baby. They’ve spent their lives building the business and they are not going to sell to just anyone. Prior to signing the LOI, you had to convince the owner that you were the right home for their company. Even after signing the LOI, it’s important to continue reaffirming the seller that you are the right buyer. Remember to keep the seller’s perspective in mind rather than just barreling forward and pushing your own agenda. Remember – a LOI is not the same as an agreement and the seller can still back out.

3. Negotiate in Parallel, Not Series

During negotiations, rather than arguing each little point, gather all the points of contention and settle them together. This way, you can determine what’s really important to you and to the seller. Bringing all the issues to the table at once will reduce frustration and prevent you from getting stuck on unimportant issues that can prevent your deal from moving forward.

Have a Plan B

Even if you follow the strategies listed above, your deal may still fall apart. It’s part of the nature of acquisitions – high risk, high reward. The best way to mitigate risk and make sure you haven’t wasted all your time and effort is to have a backup plan. Have a robust pipeline of companies to consider for acquisition. This way if one deal falls apart, you can still move forward with your other options.

Learn more in our upcoming webinar “M&A: From LOI to Close.”

Date: November 10, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM ET

 

Photo Credit: Brandon Hite Flickr cc

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 lowest possible price and then drive away and never see the salesperson again. In this case you end up driving off the lot with the salesperson in the car. Often, in a privately-held acquisition, the owner stays on and continues to work in the business for a number of years. Focusing on cost-cutting and financial engineering is no way to establish a successful (and profitable) working relationship.

Here are three ways to remember the human factor when speaking with owners:

  1. Communicate strategic rationale – Most owners receive numerous offers for their business so it’s up to you to stand out from the pack. Clearly communicating the strategic rationale for an acquisition and prove that you’ve done your research to differentiate you from others.
  2. Buy often, sell once – There is an asymmetry with buyers and sellers. You can buy as many businesses as you want, but the owner can only sell their business one time. It’s important to establish trust so the owner feels comfortable giving their “baby” away.
  3. They are all for sale…for the right equation – Just because a company is “not-for-sale” doesn’t mean it’s not for a sale. It simply means the owner isn’t actively trying to sell the business. It’s up to you to find the right factors – financial and nonfinancial – that will change a “no” to a “yes.”

 

 

Q: When a company has two owners that are equally involved is it advisable to ask them to choose only one negotiator, especially at the final stages?

A: Negotiating with one owner of a company and convincing them to sell their business can already be challenging. The situation becomes more complex when the company you wish to acquire is owned by more than one person.

When you are dealing with a company that has two owners, our experience tells us that you are actually in two negotiations and you will want to have conversations with each individual. Since both owners are actively involved in the business now, you should assume that they will both be actively involved in the future.

Before moving down the path of multiple negotiations, first make sure you understand their operating agreement. It may be that one of the owners cannot call the shots based on the legal documentation that papers their partnership. Once you have an understanding of how the company is set up, you can begin handling the two negotiations.

While one owner may have control of the company, you absolutely do not want to have exclusive communication with this person. The controlling owner may accurately portray the situation in some cases, but on the other hand, they may blatantly misrepresent the second owner’s feelings and thoughts.

What we’ve found is with multiple owner – two or more – each owner has a different time horizon, different motivation to sell, and a separate list of things in their “equation” that will make the deal work. It ifs important that you have multiple conversations so you can negotiate the right deal for both owners.

* This post was submitted by Capstone Managing Director John Dearing. This question comes from our webinar “Successful Negotiation Tactics.” Learn more about Capstone’s webinar series.

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 goal is to reach an alignment with the seller on the strategy and rationale of the deal. This is another chance for you to continue developing your relationship with the owner. While it’s important to seek council from advisors, lawyers, and other experts, you are the one who will have to lead the newly merged company once the deal is done. As the decision-maker it’s your deal and you should maintain your leadership and stay actively involved. Don’t hand the acquisition over to an “expert” and walk away.

Learn how to lead negotiations for M&A in our upcoming webinar “Successful Negotiation Tactics.” In the webinar we will cover how to build your negotiation platform and how to protect your relationship with the owner while still getting what you want.

Date: June 16, 2016

Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Photo Credit: Chris via Flickr cc

SABMiller has agreed to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $106 billion offer to acquire it. Together, they will form a global beer conglomerate with $64 billion in annual revenues that is estimated to make up 29% of global beer sales. The new company would be three times bigger than its next competitor, Heineken. Given that this is such a large acquisition, the merger will of course, be subject to regulatory approval and the two companies will likely need to sell off some assets in order to gain approval.

Strategic Rationale

With this acquisition Anheuser-Busch will gain access to fast growing markets like Latin American and Africa as sales in traditional markets like the U.S. and Europe have slowed down. This trend is widespread across the beer and even the liquor industry and is forcing large companies to take action. Earlier I wrote about liquor giant Diageo’s strategy to woo African drinkers with its own brand of spirits and beer. It seems like Anheuser-Busch is pursuing a similar path to growth by following future demand. Originally founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, SABMiller is the largest brewer in Africa, with a 34% market share. An acquisition may be the fastest and safest route for Anheuser-Busch to enter into a new market and attract new customers.

Negotiations

The agreement comes just days after SABMiller rejected Anheuser-Busch’s offer. As with many publicly traded companies, there were multiple shareholders to convince which took many talks over the course of several weeks. The investment bank 3G Capital which helped put together Anheuser-Busch, negotiated with two of SABMiller’s biggest shareholders: the Santo Domingo family and tobacco company Altria.

In any acquisition, understanding the motivations of the seller is critical to the success of an acquisition. In the case of Anheuser-Busch, without the approval of the two largest shareholders, SABMiller would not have agreed to its offer. Although privately held, middle market companies typically do not need to negotiate with multiple, large shareholders, especially not publicly, you may need to negotiate with two owners or even a family. These owners may want different things out of an acquisition. As a buyer, it’s up to you to figure out what the owner or owners really want and what will motivate them to sell. In this case, SABMiller, wanted something in addition to a high premium, it wanted assurances that the deal would pass regulatory approval and a $3 billion breakup fee.

Photo Credit: nan palmero via Compfight cc

Q: Who is the internal champion on the M&A team? What is their role?

A: The internal champion is an important member of your M&A team. Your acquisition team should include people from your own company such as the CEO, CFO, the internal champion, and functional leaders, and external experts such as lawyers, accountants, valuation experts, due diligence experts and M&A advisors. Each members is critical to completing a successful deal.

The internal champion ideally is the person to whom the newly acquired business will report. This person has the passion and responsibility for the specific business area and will have to live with the acquisition once the deal closes. The role of the champion is to provide overall direction to the team, keeping members informed of what is going on, pushing through roadblocks, and moving everyone forward toward a successful outcome. The champion should be the main point of contact with the seller and must have insight into the business and the seller’s motivations and concerns.

This becomes especially important during negotiations when the internal champion often leads negotiations. Understanding the seller is crucial to putting together the right equation for sale. Without understanding the other side it would be impossible to negotiate a deal and motivate an owner to sell.

This question comes from our webinar “Successful Negotiation Tactics.”Learn more about Capstone’s webinar series.

 

Negotiation is a critical skill, especially in mergers and acquisitions where negotiating involves more than forcing the other party to agree to your terms.

Experienced M&A negotiators understand the importance of the human factor. In acquisitions, negotiations are not about winning or losing, but bringing two sides to an agreement. This concept is extremely important in strategic, not-for-sale acquisitions because in many cases the seller will be staying on at the newly merged company.

The illustration I use is negotiating with a car salesman. Typically, we press for the most favorable price, using whatever hard-nosed tactics we can to get the best deal. When we reach an agreement, we drive away with the car, never to see the salesman again. In M&A it’s more like driving away with the salesman in the car. You would probably negotiate a bit differently if you had to see and work with the salesman once the deal is completed!

This is just one of the nuances of negotiations in M&A. An acquisition has many moving parts and a skilled negotiator needs to assemble the right pieces and guide conversations so that both parties reach an agreement.

It’s worth investing time and energy to hone your M&A negotiation skills. Here’s one step you can take immediately. Join us for a webinar on “Successful Negotiation Tactics” on July 30. CPE credit is available. To learn more and to register click here.

 

Buying a company is not like buying a car where you walk away and never see the seller again. In many cases, it is more like buying an automobile with the seller thrown in. Especially for strategic acquirers, key employees from both buyer and seller are likely to work alongside one another in the newly merged company for years to come.

In the webinar “Successful Negotiation Tactics for Mergers and Acquisitions,” John Dearing, Capstone Managing Director and Georgetown Alumni (MBA ’96) covered how to carefully balance assertion with compromise during negotiations.

The webinar was the final one in the “Pursuing Mergers & Acquisitions” webinar series created in partnership the Georgetown Alumni Career Services. Earlier webinars in the series covered a broad range of M&A topics.  “Best Practices for Contacting Owners” focused on approaching owners of privately held, not-for-sale companies, “Selecting the Best Markets for Acquisitions,” covered how to select the right markets before pursuing individual companies in order to maximize the chances of successful acquisition, and “Developing a Successful Acquisition Strategy” lay the foundation for a pursuing strategic M&A.

The webinar series followed Capstone’s demand-driven, proven process: The Roadmap to Acquisitions. Watch the entire webinars series using the links below.

Pursuing Mergers and Acquisitions Webinar Series

 

Time your negotiations by understanding owner psychology.

Everyone wants to talk about price in mergers and acquisitions. It’s often the number one focus of buyers and sellers…but for opposite reasons. Both are likely to say they are looking for a “good deal,” but this can have a completely different meaning depending on the perspective.

Buyers often tell me they are considering an acquisition, and if a “good deal” appears, they will buy the company. And by “good deal” they mean a cheap deal. On the other hand, sellers are usually hoping to offer their business to the highest bidder. This disconnect between buyers’ and sellers’ expectations is further emphasized when they put price as their top priority and use it to qualify a deal as good or bad. The truth is there are many nonfinancial factors to consider when you’re contemplating a purchase. The key is to understand owner psychology and what a huge part this plays in the decision to sell. Continue reading this post on AMA Playbook.

*This post was originally published on AMA Playbook. Visit David Braun’s author page to read all of his articles.

Pursuing M&A is a passionate process. Emotions run the gambit from excitement in finding a new deal to anxiety about risks uncovered during the acquisition.

I’ve found due diligence and negotiations to be among the most stressful times during mergers and acquisitions. Here are six ways to help everyone keep their cool during these critical stages.

  1. Write everything down – I cannot stress this enough! Nothing is more frustrating than coming to an agreement only to forget the exact terms. By recording your agreements, you can avoid renegotiating key elements of the deal. It’s hard enough to come to one agreement in the first place, much less two.
  2. Get organized – Have a member of your acquisition team act as the “librarian.” This extremely detail-oriented person will keep track of the large amount of data you receive and carefully organize and catalogue it so that it’s readily accessible when needed.
  3. Gather your questions – There is no need to call or send emails with every question; you don’t want to kill the seller with paper cuts. Collect all your questions together and present them at one time. This will also help your librarian manage all the information gathered during due diligence.
  4. Apply your criteria – Go back to the basics. Use your strategic criteria and objective metrics to calm emotions, help resolve any differences of opinion on your own team and promote meaningful analysis rather than heated debate.
  5. Use a third-party advisor – Your advisor can act as a “lightning rod” when communication between you and the seller is strained. The seller will likely feel more comfortable sharing their concerns with the advisor rather than with someone who might be their future boss. Your advisor can help ease any fears and clear the air while protecting your relationship with the seller.
  6. Have options – Last but not least, have more than one option. We recommend our clients be in serious talks with at least three other acquisition prospects and have many more in the pipeline. This way you won’t feel trapped or pressured into making a deal if you uncover any red flags.

While these tips won’t eliminate all stress from due diligence, hopefully they will help you and the seller through to a successful conclusion.

Photo Credit: Amy McTigue via Compfight cc
A collaborative mindset often leads to the best long-term outcome when you’re looking to buy another company.

Buying a company is not like buying a used car where you walk away and never see the dealer again. It can be more like buying an automobile with the seller thrown in. Imagine yourself at a dealership where you have to take the salesperson home with the car. You would probably negotiate a little differently.

Failing to consider the human aspect is the root cause of many, if not most, mergers…Continue reading this post on AMA Playbook.

*This post was originally published on AMA Playbook. Visit David Braun’s author page to read all of his articles.

Too many attempted acquisitions collapse before they are consummated. Don’t let this happen to you! Join our webinar and equip yourself to close the deal.

Did you know that $390 billion worth of deals have been withdrawn in 2014? After months of preparation these acquisitions fell apart, post letter of intent. Rather than scare you away from acquisitions, this should emphasize the importance of the final phase of the M&A process: “Building the Deal.”

This stage is particularly exciting because your months of hard work can pay off by successfully closing a deal. But, remember, there is still work to be done to make that happen.

Join us for our webinar “M&A: From LOI to Close led by Project Manager Matt Craft to ensure this last phase of your M&A process seals the deal. Learn best practices from our experienced team and drive home the acquisition.

After attending this webinar you will be able to:

  • Explain the structure of an LOI and make it beneficial to your situation
  • Describe how to manage the Due Diligence process from the viewpoints both of the buyer and the seller
  • Utilize strategies to negotiate an agreement that is beneficial to both sides
  • Identify how valuation is affected during the Due Diligence and Closing processes
  • Recognize what is expected at Closing
  • Begin to execute your Integration game plan

Date: August 21, 2014

Time: 1:00 pm ET

Register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/898139750

Don’t be caught unaware during this final phase. Be prepared to handle the challenges and carry your deal over the finish line.

Buying a company is not like buying a car where you walk away and never see the seller again. In many cases, it is more like buying an automobile with the seller thrown in. Especially for strategic acquirers, key employees from both buyer and seller are likely to work alongside one another in the newly merged company for years to come.

This presents a challenge to how we might typically negotiate. Hard-nosed tactics rarely serve either buyer or seller well in the long run. When negotiating during M&A we must carefully balance assertion with compromise.

Join me for a webinar on “Successful Negotiation Tactics” on March 20. I will explain best practices for negotiating based on my experience negotiating for mergers and acquisitions. Learn how to effectively negotiate for what you want without burning any bridges in the process.

Webinar topics include:

  • How to build a negotiation platform
  • Effective tactics for getting what you want in a deal while protecting the relationship with the prospect
  • How and when to bring legal counsel to the negotiating table
  • Strategies to address Terms, Timing and Talent
  • Methods for broaching the issue of price
  • How to avoid negotiation in circles

Date: March 20, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm ET
Click here to register

Photo Credit: paul bica via Compfight cc

During due diligence, you may uncover deal-changing issues, or what I like to call “red bucket items.” Identifying these risks doesn’t necessarily mean you walk away from a deal, but you will need to negotiate new terms with the seller.

Among the ways to protect yourself as the buyer when you find major issues:

1. Ask the seller to fix the problem and continue on good faith.

For example, if you find there is broken equipment in the seller’s plant, insist that the equipment be fixed before the deal closes

2. Require indemnification so the seller is legally bound to cover the costs if the problem materializes.

Let’s say the plant equipment is very old and likely to break soon. In this scenario, the seller would be required to pay for repairs should that occur.

3. Institute holdbacks, where a certain portion of the payment price is withheld to cover the specific issue of concern.

If the broken equipment costs $100,000 to replace you would withhold this amount from the purchase price, guaranteeing resolution before making full payment. You only pay the seller once the problem is fixed.

4. Request that funds be held in escrow to cover the problem and other potential contingencies.

With an escrow account, a percentage of the purchase price is held in a separate third-party account. It is paid to the seller a certain amount of time after closing to make sure all the seller’s claims are true. This serves as a “risk shield” for the buyer.

5. Offer less money for the business.

Sometimes uncovering “deal changers” means the value of the business changes. As a buyer, taking on some risks can mean paying less for the company.

Negotiating “red bucket items” is one of those tougher tasks which may merit involving your third-party adviser. He or she can protect the relationship between buyer and seller, acting as a “marriage counselor” while investigating and developing possible solutions to present to the seller.

*This post was adapted from David Braun’s Successful Acquisitions, available at Amazon.com

 

From my perspective of largely successful acquisitions, most acquisitions end in failure because they are missing a third-party advisor.

A third-party advisor can play an irreplaceable role on your acquisition team as an ‘‘outside insider’’ who can unearth hidden intelligence, resolve stubborn conflicts, help cooler heads prevail, and maintain a strategic perspective from beginning to beginning.

One of the most important roles a third-party advisor serves is as a “marriage counselor” through the negotiation phase. There are bound to be rough spots on the road to any acquisition agreement, and the advisor can serve as a trusted ear for both sides. I have found that an expert third party can act as a lightning rod for negative energy that the seller might have, such as doubt, anxiety and frustration.

The seller needs to express those feelings, but may be uncomfortable talking to someone who could be his future boss or partner. The third-party advisor provides the perfect outlet for these feelings and disperses them, minimizing any potential damage to the relationship between buyer and seller.

*This post was adapted from David Braun’s Successful Acquisitions, available at Amazon.com

Photo Credit: Marco Bellucci via Compfight cc
 

Yesterday, we learned that Facebook’s bid for Israeli startup Waze has ended. According to reports, negotiations broke down over disagreements on moving the Waze team from Israel to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook was rumored to be in talks to buy Waze for $1 billion.

This is a great example of why it’s important to understand the seller before even entering into negotiations. You don’t want to be far into negotiations only to have the deal fall apart.

Understanding the “seller’s equation,” or what will prompt the owner to sell his or her company, can save time and energy during the acquisition process. Often the seller’s equation goes beyond price and can include timing, reputation, and other factors related to the owner’s aspirations and values.

Pay attention to details like the number of family members working at the company or the owner’s involvement in the community.  In my experience the seller’s equation has included everything from dental insurance for the owner’s son to donations to local civic causes. Understanding what the owner truly wants early on in the process will make for smoother negotiations.

In some cases, you may discover the owner wants something you are not willing to compromise on. In the case of Facebook and Waze, it seems that neither buyer nor seller was willing to compromise on location. It is much better to find this out early in the acquisition process so you don’t waste valuable time and resources chasing a prospect who you will never reach an agreement with.

Do you have what it takes to get the deal done? Successful negotiation during an acquisition demands a breadth of business awareness and informed understanding of the many dimensions of M&A.

Join me this Friday, May 17 for a webinar on Successful Negotiation Tactics. Learn to negotiate for what you want while protecting your relationship with your acquisition prospect.

You can register for the webinar here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/785370158

Negotiation is a different game when you plan to work with your counterpart for years to come after the transaction is complete so make sure you do it right.

I hope you can join me to learn about this crucial piece of the M&A process.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing everything down during negotiations. Once an item has been discussed and decided upon, have someone from each party initial the notes to confirm the completion.

Maintaining a written record helps to keep everyone on the same page. Without such a record, you run the danger of having two differing versions of what was said and/or agreed upon.

If you write down the terms as they are settled, you can avoid a potential dust-up later should one of the parties misremember what was actually approved.

At my firm, Capstone, this discipline has saved more than one deal from disaster.  I recall negotiations on behalf of a client for a strategic partnership with a leasing operator. We sat down with the CEO and CFO of the target company. After several days of discussion, we had all the salient points—there were seven at the time—written up on our flip chart. We discussed them together in a single meeting and reached an agreement for each one.

At this point, there was a setback. Before the lawyers could draft the final agreement, our counterparts went through an ownership change. This put the deal on hold for nearly a year. The CEO and CFO from the target company stayed on and eventually reopened negotiations, but they acted as though we were all starting from scratch.

Instead of rehashing the negotiations, we gathered everyone into the same room, pulled out our flip chart from more than a year before, and in three hours settled the deal.

*This post was adapted from David Braun’s Successful Acquisition, available at Amazon.com

Photo Credit: angelocesare via Compfight cc