Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) 2022 guide by Mordechai Gal? What is a merger between two firms? A merger is referred to as a financial operation in which two companies join each other and continue business operations as one legal entity. Generally, mergers can be divided into five different categories: Conglomerate merger: Merging companies offer completely different products and/or services. A note for this mergers and acquisitions strategy is that the type of merger selected by a company primarily depends on the motives and objectives of the companies participating in a deal.
What are the Different Motives for Mergers? Companies pursue mergers and acquisitions for several reasons. The most common motives for mergers are: Value creation: Two companies may undertake a merger to increase the wealth of their shareholders. Generally, the consolidation of two businesses results in synergies that increase the value of a newly created business entity. Essentially, synergy means that the value of a merged company exceeds the sum of the values of two individual companies. Note that there are two types of synergies.
Diversification: Mergers are frequently undertaken for diversification reasons. For example, a company may use a merger to diversify its business operations by entering into new markets or offering new products or services. Additionally, it is common that the managers of a company may arrange a merger deal to diversify risks relating to the company’s operations. Note that shareholders are not always content with situations when the merger deal is primarily motivated by the objective of risk diversification. In many cases, the shareholders can easily diversify their risks through investment portfolios while a merger of two companies is typically a long and risky transaction. Market-extension, product-extension, and conglomerate mergers are typically motivated by diversification objectives.
Higher Levels of Competition: The larger the company, in theory, the more competitive it becomes. Again, this is essentially one of the benefits of economies of scale: being bigger allows you to compete for more. To take an example: there are currently dozens of upstart companies entering the plant-based meat market, offering a range of vegetable-based ‘meats’.But when P&G or Nestle begin to focus on this market, many of the upstarts will fall away, unable to compete with these behemoths.
Lower Risk because of diversification: This goes hand-in-hand with economies of scope: By having more revenue streams, it follows that a company can spread risk across those revenue streams, rather than having it focus on just one. To return to the example of Facebook: Some analysts suggest that younger eyeballs are turning away from the social media giant towards other forms of social media… Instagram and Whatsapp among them. When one revenue stream falls, an alternative stream of revenue may hold, or even pick up, diversifying the acquiring company’s risk in the process.
High value mergers and acquisitions (M&A) usually to get the biggest headlines in newspapers, but research indicates that executives should be paying attention to all the smaller deals, too. These smaller transactions, when pursued as part of a deliberate and systematic M&A program, tend to yield strong returns over the long run with comparatively low risk. And, based on Mordechai Gal‘s research, companies’ ability to successfully manage these deals can be a central factor in their ability to withstand economic shocks. The execution of such a programmatic M&A strategy is not easy, however.
Success in M&A requires much more than just executing on a big amount of deals. Acquirers must articulate exactly why and where they need M&A to deliver on specific themes and objectives underlying their overarching corporate strategies. In addition, they must give careful thought as to how they plan to pursue programmatic M&A—including constructing a high-level business case and preliminary integration plans for each area in which they want to pursue M&A.
Why Mergers and Acquisitions Fail? There are many reasons so let’s discuss some of them: Misunderstanding the target company : Even due diligence doesn’t guarantee that you’ll fully understand the target company. It gives you the best opportunity to do so, but there are plenty of cases where even a lengthy period of due diligence doesn’t let you know what makes a company tick. The example of British grocery retailer Morrisson’s acquiring rival company Safeway in 2003 is testament to this. What looked on paper like a great deal for Morrisson’s – expanding their footprint all over the UK – turned into a nightmare, essentially because the two firms served completely different types of customers.
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