Achieving the Full Value of an Acquisition 

 September 21, 2020

By  Steve Nunn

Imagine a dynamic, growing business. It has unique products that get a lot of attention from the press. Working there is busy but energizing for the employees.

The business was acquired. On the day of the announcement, the acquiring company made a big presentation to all staff. They said that the two businesses would remain separate for a while, and that it would continue to be business-as-usual. The details of the integration were not finalized, as leadership was still working on how to merge the businesses together.

After a week, the acquired staff started getting asked to coordinate their work activities when dealing with clients that both businesses shared. In addition, they were getting invited to meetings to answer queries about their products and marketing. The acquired staff started to find it difficult to be as productive as before.

It became apparent that it was not business-as-usual. The acquired staff started to wonder how many additional requests for their time would be needed, and what additional changes would take place. The leadership announcement did not provide clear future plans for their product, which made them wonder what their immediate future held. Acquired staff spent time discussing this and speculating. Imagination was used in speculation and worry, not on ways to improve the company. Productivity dropped further, which caused the company profits to also drop.

After 6 months, leadership realized that it had made some mistakes and corrected them. They had not shared a clear vision of the future of the products and the whole business, and they had also allowed acquiring employees to distract the acquired employees. They announced a plan and acted upon that plan to integrate the two businesses together.

The integration plan needed employees to carry out tasks associated with combining the systems and processes of the two businesses, in addition to continuing with their current job. Progress with the integration was slow, as there were dependencies upon other teams, and it took time to solve unexpected issues. Some deadlines were missed, causing productivity and staff morale to remain low.

After 12 months, most of the integration was completed. Productivity and profitability started to improve.

Integration Review

A review of the acquisition and integration found:

  • The revenues and profitability of the business were below the projections created before the acquisition
  • If they had hired external integration expertise, the business would have been more prosperous

Engaging Acquisition Integration Expertise

We specialize in helping companies merge businesses together. Services we can provide:

  • Create an integration plan before the announcement, including how to integrate, what the workstreams should be, and the tasks that each would be assigned
  • Logistics and communication preparation for the announcement of an acquisition
  • Mentor specific groups for their role in an integration, e.g. work with HR on how to onboard an acquired office
  • Deliver the integration, by supporting, monitoring and reporting the integration tasks
  • Provide resources to help with projects


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