3 Top Considerations for a Successful Acquisition

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions in the public relations industry, there’s no magic formula or analysis that can predict the success or failure of a transaction. There are, however, a few factors that can be closely reviewed in an effort to ensure that the outcome of the transaction is as favorable as possible for all involved.

Here are 3 of the top considerations for a successful PR firm acquisition.

1.    Have You Carefully Analyzed Your Prospect?

opportunityIf you hope to acquire another organization successfully, significant forethought is absolutely necessary. Before initiating an acquisition, it’s important to determine exactly what you are looking for in the PR company you plan to acquire and thoroughly analyze your prospect. From financial details to company culture, you’ll want to make sure any company you are considering meets your specific criteria and aligns well with your organization.

Once you’ve narrowed your options, you should familiarize yourself as much as possible with the company you plan to acquire. You’ll want to completely understand how the acquisition will impact both organizations before moving forward with a transaction.

2.    Do You Have a Well-Developed Plan in Place?

This may seem like an obvious consideration, but it is an imperative one. Having a well thought out strategy in place before the acquisition initiated is absolutely necessary if you hope to execute a successful transaction. Your plan should be focused on specific objectives and goals. It should also include a strategy for financing the transaction, a timeline and plans for any staffing cuts or additions that may need to be made. Additionally, if possible, contingency solutions to handle specific elements of the plan if they do not go as expected should be included.

Having a thorough plan in place will force you to think through the details of the transaction before moving forward and may help you to solve some problems that may occur before they arise. A detailed plan is crucial to executing a successful acquisition.

3.    Do You Have a Strong, Cohesive Team In Place to Facilitate The Transaction?

Without a team of talented, experienced individuals who are on board with the acquisition and willing to facilitate the integration into the buyer firm, the transaction is destined to fail. Having the right team in place will make a huge difference in the success of the acquisition.

Before initiating the transaction, ensure that the team within your organization is ready to take on the challenge of acquiring another company. You’ll want to make sure that you have buy-in from the key employees at the company being acquired as well. To maximize your success, you’ll want to select individuals from both organizations who are passionate, talented and dedicated to your vision and the success of the company. Do your homework ahead of time so you have a solid understanding of which employees should stay and which, if any, should be let go. Make these decisions carefully but decisively; you may be tempted to wait, but waiting won’t make the decisions any easier. Assembling this team quickly is imperative, as you’ll risk losing clients and valuable team members if you wait too long to make appointments.  The integration process is critical.

There is no way to guarantee that an acquisition will be successful, but by attending to these three top considerations it is possible to increase the probability that the transaction will result in a profitable partnership for both buyer and seller.

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