Challenges of the M&A Process

I am a veteran of a number of sell side transactions. Seeing a business sale to the end is a landmark achievement. The process is filled with obstacles all the way through. See the FERF Executive Report for a discussion of the various challenges.

One of the most significant challenges is to keep business momentum moving forward. This is much easier than it sounds. Business owners must balance the needs of continuing to strategically lead and manage a business, while at the same time negotiate for its sale.  It is an almost superhuman task.

It is easy to take your eye off the business operations ball during such times. Additionally, negotiating a transaction will almost certainly involve other key individuals from the business. Those employees play a key role in providing due diligence information and help to move the transaction forward. But employees involved in the transaction will almost certainly succumb to the inevitable discussion of what will happen to them after consummating a transaction.

Business owners must realize that employees will find out about a transaction; the trick is to keep employees on the transaction team informed about the transaction and what will happen after a closing, while ensuring that confidential information is kept with employees on the transaction team.  Additionally, periodic reminders of the importance of not losing business momentum should become a regular part of the information sharing process.

photo credit: Bumpy Road Ahead White Bg via photopin (license)

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