Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) are important for small businesses, micro businesses, and startups. This video provides a small business and startup mergers and acquisitions overview. M&As allow small and large companies the opportunity to either grow or provide an exit if they want to sell their business. M&As occur when two (or more) firms become one. Specifically, an acquisition happens when a firm subsumes another one; including all of its clients, operations, and financial obligations. A merger is essentially a joint agreement that combines forces. However, M&As are commonly referenced together because it is difficult to tease them apart. Generally, it is simply the framing and motivation of the business that changes. The post-merger integration process is similar for both a merger and an acquisition.
M&As are a common strategy for organic business growth. M&As for a small company can be a quite common strategy. In order to grow properly under an M&A, firms must find extremely good deals when searching for possible acquisitions. A good deal is not only financially undervalued, but also fits within the strategy of the firm. They need to have complementary cultures, or provide capabilities that the firm does not currently possess. Conversely, on the target’s side, the M&A should offer a fair market value to the firm so that they may recoup their invested efforts. This is a common exit strategy for technology firms in many industries, including software and biotech.
It is well known that most M&As fail to provide value to the shareholders. The post-merger integration process is critical to helping provide that value after the acquisition. The process ensures that capabilities of the firm are carefully integrated. A considerable amount of resources is often needed to ensure that the two firms are integrated sufficiently. The time and effort required to integrate the two firms should not be underestimated. The best performing firms often have dedicated departments to oversee the integration of the acquired firm.
Graebner, M., Heimeriks, K., Huy, Q. and Vaara, E. (2016) The process of post-merger integration: A review and agenda for future research. Academy of Management Annals.
Haleblian, J., Devers, C., McNamara, G., Carpenter, M. and Davison, R. (2009) Taking stock of what we know about mergers and acquisitions: A review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 35, 469-502.
Trichterborn, A., Zu Knyphausen-Aufseß, D., and Schweizer, L. (2016) How to improve acquisition performance: The role of a dedicated M&A function, M&A learning process, and M&A capability. Strategic Management Journal, 37, 763-773.
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