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Mergers & Acquisitions Integration Handbook: Helping Companies Realize The Full Value of Acquisitions by Scott C. Whitaker

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CHAPTER 5

The Pre-Planning Phase

In this chapter, you will learn the following:

  • The most common key activities that are part of integration pre-planning.
  • How to stress-test the synergy plan.
  • What to look for in your due diligence assessments.
  • Assessing potential challenge areas like culture and change management.

The pre-planning phase should begin as soon as a deal is imminent and a target closing date has been set. This is when companies typically make decisions to seek outside external support to augment their integration teams or to handle the integration internally. Either way, this is when it is critical to access the integration challenge and determine what resources will be required to manage it.

Deal teams are typically reticent to allow too much pre-deal integration planning, since they are focused on closing the deal (which they should be). However, this is when those executives tasked with integration should have sharp elbows and get involved in the conversation to begin planning. Even if the integration details are a bit thin, getting involved before the deal is closed will accelerate your planning and integration preparation.

KEY ACTIVITIES

In some cases, integration teams have been involved early to stress-test some initial synergy projections and assumptions. This reality test often results in some much-needed tweaks to the deal specifics that lead to smoother integrations post-closing. There are a number of key activities, described here.

Determining Integration ...

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