Danny A. Davis: M&A Integration - How to do it
Published by WILEY
How many times have you been involved in buying another company where the drive for you personally was in doing the deal because it pushed up your share price? How many of you found the whole "It's it on? Is it off?" routine unbelievably thrilling and yet at the same time exhausting? It is a pretty privleged club. And yet. And yet buying a competitor might well be high octane stuff but the real job only begins once those endless contracts have been signed off.
The merger, take-over, joint venture - call it what you will - now has to be intelligently integrated. This may take 18 months and involve some very tricky decisions on who to keep and who to fire, which offices to keep open and which to close, which product lines to close and which to improve.
Take Cisco. They bought Flip Video for $590m in 2009 and closed it in April, 2011. You have to ask what on earth its executive team was up to. Very few companies can take such a hit on their balance sheet.
It was therefore refreshing to come across Danny A. Davis's new book which covers the mergers and acquisitions. It's an excellent read. The topics covered include an analysis of of the stages of integration coupled with plenty of tools and checklists. The book has two sections: the pre-and the post- planning and all told there are fifteen chapters and each one comes with a precis as an opener (for those too busy to read the book). Indeed, if you just read Chapter 15 entitled "Book Summary" you might save yourself a couple of £million.
I thought the chapter on Communications was pivotal to both the M and the A viz: "Day 1 is a major milestone, but if the 100 day planning has not been completed pre-deal, there will be confusion about what the messaging should be and major problems will suddenly come into view.
It may be too late for Cisco but Go Read.