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The M&A Detective

by on April 23, 2014


Police shows on TV follow a formula, a process, if you will.  They all do it.  Some do it better than others.

This is very similar to M&A. Merger and acquisition deals follow a similar formula or process.

The police officers and detectives show up to a crime scene, let’s say it’s a murder case.  They gather clues, formulate theories, and start to identify who the murderer might be and what he/she might look like.

In M&A we evaluate the situation, gather clues, and create the acquisition criteria for a suitable target.

The police officers and detectives then start a search for the killer based on what they know and what they’re looking for.

Just like in M&A.  We start to look around the globe for the right target, at the right price, at the right time.

Ever notice how in the TV shows that the first suspect the police officers bring in for questioning, the suspect that seems to fit all of the obvious criteria for the culprit, is never the right suspect?

In M&A when we’re looking for the right acquisition target the first ones we talk to are rarely the right fits.

The reasons for the two circumstances are the same.

In both the TV shows and in M&A we’re undertaking due diligence, we’re refining what we’re looking for based on the information we have.  The activity itself creates a feedback loop.  We’re solving a puzzle and the more we look the better we understand the information we’re looking at, and the better we’re able to put all the pieces together.

In the TV shows they eventually unravel the clues and find their killer.  Once the clues are understood properly it all makes sense!  In hindsight it’s obvious who the murderer was right from the start.  The fun part, as a viewer, is to see if you can guess the killer.

In M&A the best deals are the ones that are obvious. Not explainable—OBVIOUS. It needs to be obvious to the management, to the executives at the target company, to your customers and even to the analysts and media. 

So make your deal a great one.  Like in the TV shows, follow the formula, solve the puzzle, and find the right company.

Make Your Deal a Great One

Thinking about buying another company or possibly selling your own and want to learn more about making your deal a great one?  Contact Mike Rogers today for a complimentary, no obligation, initial consultation to determine if he is the right person to help you reach your goals.  No matter what, you’ll walk away from the meeting with him more confident about your future!

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