As of 2019, the number of entrepreneurs worldwide has ballooned to 582 million. Despite this remarkable surge, it’s been reported that 22.5% of small businesses actually fail within their first year of operation. These statistics only prove how complex and ever-changing the corporate world is.
Thus, every ambitious business owner must be educated in various ways to manage sweeping economic changes. If you also run an enterprise, you should be aware of different strategies that will allow you to mitigate losses and create more viable opportunities.
A popular example is merger and acquisition (M&A), which is an expansion practice adopted by many international firms for their wide range of advantages. However, since corporate matters can sometimes lead to unexpected outcomes, any major move should be carefully scrutinized before taking a course of action.
Looking to engage in M&A? Below, we have compiled some crucial factors to take into account. But before that, let’s have a brief discussion on how the two processes work.
Mergers and Acquisitions | An Overview
As defined by global education provider EduPristine, M&A are methods of consolidating companies. To differentiate the two strategies—mergers entail the “merging” or combining of two businesses, while in acquisitions, one large corporation “acquires” or takes over a smaller organization.
There are multiple reasons why business owners resort to M&A, but in general, motivations revolve around the maximization of wealth. The processes of M&A can be accomplished through different ways, such as acquiring common shares, exchanging shares, exchanging shares for assets that have high monetary value, and purchasing assets.
Mergers are classified into three primary types: horizontal (the companies belong to the same industry), vertical (the companies are combined but operate individually and serve different purposes), and conglomerate (a group of businesses that are unrelated or belong to a wide array of industries).
Key Considerations to Take into Account When Facing a Merger or Acquisition
Regardless of what type of expansion strategy your company will be involved in, taking certain steps can boost the success of the integration and ensure a favorable conclusion for both parties.
1. Reassess your reason
As previously stated, there are several reasons why business owners opt for M&A. For instance, when an enterprise has achieved financial stability and consistent growth, it’s deemed ideal to pursue expansion. However, expanding can be tricky, especially if you plan to branch out, penetrate foreign markets, or enter a different line of industry.
Accordingly, buying a business that has already been established in the location or industry that you wish to explore can help reduce risks. This move can also help you lower the amount of capital, increase market shares, and absorb technologies that can improve your operations.
However, if you’re the selling party, your decision can be motivated by various reasons. Pamela Wesley, CEO of Cerius Executives, share that business owners choose to sell their company to liquidate their monetary value, avoid risks, and seek new opportunities.
If your company is already struggling, selling it will allow you to salvage a portion of its monetary value and use that amount for business financing for a different venture. You can also save your business by merging with a larger enterprise.
Whether you’re the one buying or selling, evaluating your primary motivation is necessary to match your objectives with the detailed integration plan. It also helps you figure out if M&A is indeed the right choice.
2. Work with a suitable partner
Choosing the wrong partner can be extremely detrimental to the entire transaction. In fact, it can result in difficult negotiations, and in worse cases, abortion of M&A. Thus, be sure to meticulously assess a company to determine if it’s a strategic, organizational, and cultural fit to yours.
Moreover, it’s vital to work with a reputable and trustworthy enterprise that is guided by values and a mission statement that you also believe in. Mutual trust between the two parties allows for smoother negotiations and better cooperation.
You also need to calculate potential synergies or the particular aspects where two companies complement each other. Careful estimation enables you to analyze the feasibility of the synergies, so in the implementation stage, these planned synergies can be successfully realized.
3. Determine the company’s accurate value
Quality valuation needs an in-depth study of the company’s history, financial reports, and other factors linked to profitability. A poor valuation can lead to an inflated price, making the transaction a failure of hindsight, regardless of how efficiently the integration proceeds.
If you’re the seller, it’s also critical to know that the offer price is negotiable. Forbes suggests that you look into market comparables, the level of expertise and experience of your management team, the projected growth of your business, and the proprietary technologies your organization licenses or owns. Additionally, if there are multiple bidders, negotiation will be even more ideal.
4. Prioritize effective communication
For effective communication between the two parties, select a competent management team and reliable consultants. These professionals will guide the entire process and make sure that honesty is upheld in the communication within and outside of the organization.
Moreover, it’s essential to coherently convey the integration plan to all employees for smooth and swift implementation. To add, an impending merger can distract and stress employees, which can impact their performance negatively. The managers will be responsible for inspiring confidence among the workers to make sure that efficiency won’t be compromised during the integration phase.
5. Consider the legislation and present economic condition
Legislation, both national and international, can either validate or hinder M&A, considering its significant influence on property ownership and financial reporting. This is especially true for organizations with huge market share, as they are usually under the control of legislative power.
Because legislation can greatly affect the M&A’s success, it’s a must to consult a legal professional and assess applicable provisions to make sure that the transaction is capacitated by law.
Furthermore, while M&A transactions are organization-specific, the state of the economy still holds influence on how they will fare out. Thus, in addition to favorable legislation, an agreeable economic climate can also heighten the likelihood of success.
Considering vital factors can help you gauge if M&A is worth a shot. Remember, abortive attempts not only waste your time and financial resources. During the transaction, business-sensitive information is also exchanged, so your company will be put at risk if it fails. Therefore, do a careful analysis of various aspects of M&A and seek the assistance of experts before proceeding.
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