Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Building Blocks of Success; Merging Your Business with Another Can Fast Track Your Growth. Ward Hadaway's Head of Corporate, ROBERT THOMPSON, Gives the Lowdown on Developing a Successful Acquisition Strategy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Building Blocks of Success; Merging Your Business with Another Can Fast Track Your Growth. Ward Hadaway's Head of Corporate, ROBERT THOMPSON, Gives the Lowdown on Developing a Successful Acquisition Strategy

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT THOMPSON

| Develop a growth mindset Scaling up an existing successful business is not always easy, it usually requires a change in mindset, challenging existing business practices and models and in most cases some additional capital. Very few existing businesses are scalable without some of these factors being required, and before you set off on this course it's essential to ensure that your business fundamentals are sound.

| It's not all Big Bang theory Aside from organic growth, many entrepreneurs view an acquisition strategy as a tried and tested method of scaling up. Often, surprisingly, the best returns do not come from the one-off 'big bang' transactions, but smaller deals undertaken as part of a programmatic acquisition strategy. To be successful it's essential to have a merger and acquisition blueprint that is sound and enduring and to have advisory teams that are geared to delivering those acquisitions efficiently.

| Consider an integration strategy upfront Over the years we have looked after many serial acquirers and that experience has given us some insight into what makes the difference between success and failure. A good litmus test is integration or lack of it. Those that are driven by growth, almost for the sake of it, pay little or no attention to integrating the acquired business. Often, the team responsible for closing the deal is entirely separate from the integration team.

That rarely works, and can result in quite a failure rate. Conversely some tackle integration as early on as their initial due diligence on the target. They then have a finely tuned integration programme that kicks in immediately on close and is concluded within a few months. Any impediments to speedy integration are tackled as part of the initial evaluation of the target, rather than an inconvenient afterthought. …

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