"Would he retain his current leadership team?"
"How would he (they) handle a Europe-based boss?"
"What did he envision for how key roles would interact post-merger?"
“How would work systems, and the system-of-roles, need to change in order to support the merged businesses?"
“Was there sufficient time and other resources put aside for post-merger integration?"
Clearly caught off guard, John stuttered through a few unsatisfying, un CEO-like responses. He then excused himself, returning intently to his calculator, focused again on the deal at hand (or perhaps more enamoring aspects of the deal).
“I’ll tell you how it goes,” he said.
But statistically speaking, we know how it goes. According to PWC's Annual Global CEO survey, 42% of CEO anticipate a domestic merger in 2013. At the same time it is widely accepted that fully one third of those deals will not even recover the cost of the deal.
What's really going on? Even in a world where deals are done to benefit dealmakers, there is still a common sense approach to due diligence that includes counting the real costs of successful post-merger integration, based on answers to questions liked those above. Instead of being surprised, it pays to be prepared to address risks and spend the time and money upfront to do so.
Remaining blind is never a viable option.
For those who want to see, there are recent articles with helpful M&A news as well as linked resources:
--Forbes Post-merger integration
--Growth River Post-merger integration work