Don Van Winkle

M&A as a Strategy

October 6, 2016

M&A as a Strategy
Put the good, the bad and the ugly on the table.

A mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) strategy that is well thought out can be a source of competitive advantage and is an important part of any company’s long-term value-creation plan. This heightened perspective and focus is not a luxury available only to the largest companies. Mid- and small-market companies are also embracing M&A as a corporate development strategy that enhances their competitive position.

CEOs and management teams who routinely and objectively view their company through the eyes and experience of their CDO are more comfortable evaluating those sacred cows like products, divisions and other assets that may no longer fit. A current and welcomed CEO mantra is: “How could we better employ that capital towards our long-term strategic goals? Are we optimizing our capital investment with that division or could we reemploy that capital in a more strategic and profitable acquisition?”

  • Begin with an in-depth and candid analysis along the lines of the traditional SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
  • Dig deeper and ask “What if?” and “Why not?” and “How?”
  • Engage the objective perspective of an investor and buyer in the person of an outsourced CDO, with instructions that include terms like “no sacred cows” or “blind spots” as guard rails.
  • Put the good, the bad and the ugly on the table. Discuss the process of getting “where you want to go” and “where you need to go” as well as “What are we missing?” Address these questions in a gloves-off fashion designed to build sustainability, heightened competitive edge, and, ultimately, increased company value.