Roadmap for a successful M&A



Without a roadmap, your M&A will not succeed. It’s not just about buying a company, you should invest in its integration.

Roadmap for a successful M&A.

Some figures that may make your head spin (source: CLC):

  • In 58 % of cases, integration (merger & acquisition) failed due to:
    • The wrong process
    • Poor preparation
    • Lack of communication
    • No change management
  • 56 % of targeted synergies are never reached.
  • 34 % of companies take more than 2 years to achieve the targets.
  • Only 6 % assessed the process as very successful.

 A roadmap

  1. Pre-acquisition

    • Besides the financial figures, also evaluate the other aspects of the business. HR due diligence, for example, is certain to reveal essential elements that may have financial and other consequences.
    • Design the new organisation before the closing.
    • Evaluate managers’ competencies, potential and values in order to put the right person in the right places (later).
    • Develop a communication strategy and project approach.
    • Evaluate the culture, for example to establish the strengths and possible obstacles for the integration.
    • Appoint an integration manager.
  2. Establishing the foundations

    • Start ‘twenty’ working groups (integration task forces or ITFs) – one for each strategic business process – composed of a core team of managers from both companies.
    • Work with managers from both companies to establish a new (joint) business plan.
    • ‘Visibly’ involve (senior) managers from both companies.
    • Appoint new managers at the acquiring company. Ensure the best manager wins. Make your decision based on past results, ITFs and of course previous assessments.
  3. Fast integration

    • Integrate terms and conditions. The more you let time pass, the more employees continue to think in terms of people being an ‘ex-A’ or an ‘ex-B’.
    • Accelerate integration by organising cultural workshops and intensive process mapping.
    • Perform process audits. Decide on the best process.
    • Exchange managers between both companies.
    • Pay attention to feedback and learn from it.
  4. Consolidation

    • Form one company with one MT and one manager in every position, without any compromises.
    • Develop common tools, a common language and common processes. Pick the best from both worlds.
    • Also decide what should remain unchanged and what is outside the scope of the integration and ITFs (the common ERP, for example).
    • Use learning and development tools to further promote learning from each other.
    • Audit the integration process.

How should you manage such a change project?

The answer is simple: as always, your change process must be tailored to your M&A objective and both companies’ cultures. There can be no integration without merging the cultures.


Good luck!