M&A Is Back, Baby! For Now.

by Kathleen Janson on May 20, 2011

In the first quarter of this year M&A activity increased 41 percent, double what bankers had predicted. Is this trend sustainable? Who knows in this economy. But it’s a good time to revisit best practices in completing successful transactions.

Whether a company is being acquired or making the acquisition, it’s critical that key audiences are communicated with on a regular basis to ensure the success of the transaction. For companies large and small, when a definitive agreement is announced, every effort should be made to establish an open dialog with the employees, customers and investors. There’s a delicate balance of what can legally be said before the close of a transaction, but an honest effort to communicate the information that CAN be shared goes a long way in holding the company together by maintaining employee productivity, customer retention and investor confidence.

It’s important that both companies assure their audiences of a seamless transition, smooth integration of corporate cultures, and the continued functioning of IT systems, customer support and on-time delivery. And then, the acquiring company has to continue to deliver on those promises, and ensure the future success of the blended company post-closing with a solid, strategic communications plan and branding campaign.

Mergers and acquisitions can create strange bedfellows, but the drawbacks of companies’ cultures not meshing together can have an impact on the bottom line.

In the May 9, 2011 issue of Inc., Tim Donnelly does and admirable job of providing good insights on the process and reenforces the importance of communications in his article How to Merge Corporate Cultures. It’s definitely worth a read whether you’re an M&A veteran or a novice.

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