Acquisitions have become a popular strategy for organizations looking to expand their revenue, product offerings, and geographic reach. Acquisitions provide organizations with the opportunity to gain access to new markets, technologies, and customers while improving their competitive position. Here are some key benefits for revenue, product, and geographic expansion:
Having a well-qualified M&A pipeline for mandates is crucial to the success of M&A A well-defined mandate outlines the company's goals, target markets, acquisition criteria, and other key factors to guide the corporate development team in its search for suitable acquisition targets. However, the corporate development team may face several challenges while pursuing the right targets for their mandates. The top 6 key challenges with deal sourcing include
In this article, we shall further highlight these six challenges in detail:
Challenge #1 - Aggressively Building Top Funnels
Aggressively building top funnels refers to actively pursuing potential acquisition targets through various channels, such as networking, industry events, and direct outreach. The goal is to generate a high volume of leads and identify the most promising opportunities for the company's acquisition strategy.
Some customers prefer this approach over waiting for inbound leads because it allows them to be more proactive in their search for suitable acquisition targets. By actively seeking out opportunities, organizations can identify potential targets that may not have been on their radar otherwise. Additionally, it allows organizations to have more control over the types of deals they pursue and can help them stay ahead of their competitors.
Several customers have successfully employed this strategy. For example, Amazon has been known to aggressively pursue acquisitions that align with its long-term growth strategy. In 2018, they acquired the online pharmacy PillPack in a move to expand their healthcare offerings. Another example is Facebook, which has a dedicated corporate development team that actively seeks out potential acquisition targets to fuel its growth strategy. In 2019, they acquired CTRL-Labs, a startup that develops technology for controlling computers with the mind.
Overall, aggressively building top funnels can be an effective strategy for organizations looking to pursue M&A opportunities. It allows them to identify the best opportunities, stay ahead of competitors, and have more control over the types of deals they pursue.
Challenge #2 - Quantity vs Quality of Leads from Investment Bankers
Some customers may not be happy with the number of leads they receive from sell-side bankers because investment bankers are often focused on larger deals that generate higher fees. As a result, they may not be as interested in smaller or mid-sized deals that may be a better fit for the client's acquisition strategy.
Having more leads can provide customers with a broader pool of potential acquisition targets and increase the likelihood of finding the right fit for their acquisition strategy. However, customers should also prioritize the quality of the leads they receive. This means focusing on leads that align with their strategic goals, and relevant mandates which have a higher likelihood of success.
To increase the quantity and quality of their leads, customers can proactively reach out to investment bankers and other deal-sourcing organizations, attend industry events, and network with other professionals in their industry. It's also important for customers to communicate their acquisition criteria and strategic goals clearly to potential deal sources to ensure that they receive leads that are relevant and aligned with their growth strategy.
Challenge #3 - Finding Value Deals
A value deal in M&A is when a company acquires another company at a lower price than its intrinsic value or market value. These types of deals can be beneficial for customers who are looking to expand their portfolios without overpaying for assets.
customers may want to see multiple options before rolling out an offer to ensure that they are making an informed decision and not overpaying for assets. This also allows them to compare and contrast potential acquisition targets to ensure that they are choosing the best fit for their M&A strategy.
To avoid getting into bidding wars, customers can conduct thorough due diligence to determine the true value of the acquisition target. They can also set a maximum bid price and avoid going over budget. It's important to have a clear understanding of the target's financials and market position to avoid overpaying for assets. Additionally, customers can explore alternative deal structures, such as earnouts or stock swaps, to reduce the upfront cost of the acquisition.
Challenge #4 - Lack of Bandwidth and Resources
Some customers may not have the bandwidth or resources to source organizations themselves due to a lack of dedicated M&A teams, limited internal knowledge or expertise, or competing priorities. This can lead to missed opportunities for growth and expansion.
Relying solely on databases to find potential targets can also present challenges, as many organizations may not be publicly listed or easily accessible through these platforms.
To improve their sourcing capabilities, customers can consider partnering with third-party advisors or deal-sourcing organizations who have a deep understanding of the market and can provide tailored recommendations based on their specific M&A strategy. Alternatively, they can invest in building out dedicated M&A teams with the necessary expertise and resources to identify and evaluate potential targets. It's also important to maintain an ongoing network of industry contacts and relationships to keep up-to-date on potential acquisition opportunities.
Challenge #5 - Inbound Leads That Don't Match Mandate Requirements
Inbound leads from investment bankers that don't match mandate requirements in M&A can be a common challenge for organizations. This may occur when the company's M&A objectives or criteria are not clearly communicated or understood by external parties, leading to a flood of irrelevant or unsuitable inbound leads.
It's crucial for customers to align their acquisition strategy with the objectives and requirements of the board or promoters. This ensures that all potential acquisition targets are evaluated based on a clear and consistent set of criteria and that resources are focused on pursuing opportunities that align with the company's long-term goals.
To improve their targeting and filtering of inbound leads, customers can develop a clear and concise mandate that outlines their M&A strategy and objectives, and communicate this effectively to external parties. They can also work with advisors, deal-sourcing agencies, or third-party organizations to help screen and filter inbound leads based on specific criteria. Additionally, developing a standardized process for evaluating potential targets can help ensure that all opportunities are assessed fairly and consistently.
Challenge #6 - Inaccurate or outdated information on Research Platforms (Pitchbook, Traxcn, Owler, Crunchbase)
Research platforms like PitchBook, Traxcn, Owler, and Crunchbase are accessible to all and provide valuable information on organizations for M&A transactions. However, these platforms can have limitations such as inaccurate or outdated information around key KPIs like revenue, employee size, and customer split.
Another issue is the lack of visibility on private company data like financials, revenue split offering-wise, and geography-wise. This can lead to misleading valuations or missed opportunities for potential M&A deals.
To combat these limitations, it is important to perform due diligence on the information provided by these platforms and cross-reference it with other sources. Additionally, building relationships with industry experts and networking can provide access to more reliable information and potential M&A opportunities.
Acquisitions has become a popular strategy for organizations looking to expand their revenue, product offerings, and geographic reach. M&A provides organizations with the opportunity to gain access to new markets, technologies, and customers while improving their competitive position. However, organizations may face several challenges while pursuing M&A opportunities, such as finding value deals, aggressively building top funnels, and balancing the quantity and quality of leads from investment bankers. In addition, organizations must have adequate resources and bandwidth to effectively execute M&A opportunities.
To address these challenges, organizations can prioritize finding deals that offer real value, proactively reach out to investment bankers and potential acquisition targets, and conduct thorough due diligence to avoid overpaying for assets. Overall, with a strong M&A mandate, careful planning, and proper execution, acquisitions can be an effective strategy for organizations to achieve their growth goals and enhance their competitive position in the market.
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