Acquisitions may look like something that’s easy on paper, but making them work over the long haul requires a lot of strategic thinking and preparation. If they don’t follow the tried-and-true procedures to prepare, implement and integrate a deal, many entrepreneurs are disappointed by their latest acquisition.

The first step is to develop an acquisition strategy. The most successful acquirers have specific, well-articulated value creation strategies that are incorporated into the deal–such as expanding to an international market or filling gaps in their portfolio. They also have a business sponsor and a team who conduct the analysis and negotiations, and a plan for how to close and transition the deal.

Valuation and Deal Structuring

The next step is determining the purchase price by comparing valuation methods with the company’s financial records. Be aware of the target’s cash flow stability, market position and systematization. It is also essential to know if the acquisition is an asset or equity deal and what tax implications.

Negotiation and Closing

Through the entire process it is important to keep the focus on the needs of the client. It is also essential to avoid cutting corners or ignoring negative findings that could affect the transaction.

Lastly, it is important to have a knowledgeable team to oversee the M&A process. This is especially important during the due diligence stage, when it’s easy to overlook important details. Furthermore, communication with employees is vital. This could be stressful for employees of the acquired company and it is vital to be open and provide transparency.

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