Post-Acquisition Strategies

There seem to be two post-acquisition strategies employed :
1. Nurture and Integrate
2. Annihilate and Assimilate

The former would be applied in cases where the products are based on a different technological platform, or are strong in different geographies. There would be a mature plan to let the acquired organization adjust to the new environment while it continues to execute on its former plans and continues to succeed as a business unit. The essential ingredient of this plan would be avoidance in changing anything that will cause disruptions or delays towards achieving success. After all the acquisition was done with the aim of generating value and losing that focus would be seen as detrimental.

The latter would be applied in cases where the products are in direct competition with the acquiring organization and technologies are similar. The integration plan would include both process and product integration. [I would suggest however that the focus be more on interoperability rather than integration.]Such a strategy would also be applied in cases where the acquisition itself is not seen as synergistic on day one, and speedy and active intervention is deemed necessary towards reaping positive results.

Both the strategies include integration but are differentiated by its speed.

Irrespective of which is employed, it is imperative to understand that 'people are important'. Checkout a slightly old list of EMC's acquisitions and a stunning report that says that 15 of the 17 chief executives of the EMC acquisitions have remained with the company.


Lots to learn

1. Will this project complete on time and with targeted profit margins ?
2. What are the dependencies on the customer for this project that will affect the above ?
3. If you discover that the project will incur loss, and you've run out of alternative ways of avoiding that, what is the right approach to take ?
4. When is the right time to raise the alarm and stop the project ?
5. What are the different business compulsions that need to be juggled when taking this decision ?
6. What is the manner in which this action should be communicated to all internal and external stakeholders ?
7. And finally, who's to take the blame ?

As one grows, one learns. :)