Innovation can come in many forms: a new product, or a new piece of technology. Today we’re talking about innovation in a process, specifically, mergers and acquisitions. Our guest is Axel Kirstetter, the Vice President for Product Marketing, Content Marketing, and Pricing at Merrill Corporation, here to talk about M&A, and the seven critical M&A transaction mistakes.

How does Merrill help companies in the M&A process?

They have a virtual data room where clients can put information, content, and data for potential bidders to participate in the due diligence cycle. Bidders, buyers, and sellers worldwide can get together and exchange information via technology that’s compliant and secure.

What is Synergy Savings? And what is its importance in the M&A process?

In acquisition mergers, you’re combining two entities, and naturally, there will be some overlap between capabilities, production resources, and so forth. You can remove some of these redundancies to achieve Synergy Savings. For any acquisition to be successful, you have to achieve between 4-5% Synergy Savings.

On timing

Time management is important in decreasing the likelihood of deal fatigue, which dramatically diminishes the chances for success.

Axel adds that there are other things to take into consideration, too, like unexpected, politically-driven, compliance changes. Be sure to make space for these changes when choosing to announce or include something related to your transaction.

Seven Mistakes That Can Derail Successful M&A Transactions

  • Overindulgent optimism
  • Poor structural engineering
  • Ineffective organizational integration
  • Insufficient time allocation
  • Inability to execute the business plan
  • Lack of proper data preparation
  • Absence of secure business tools

Why is controlled access so critical?

  • Information security. You get to make sure that your information is secured with tools that allow you to do that.
  • Speed of the deal. You have to actively manage the speed at which the deal is going by choosing who gets access to what by setting the overall pace of the deal.
  • Post-deal success. You’re specifically looking at things like auditing capabilities, robust document security, creating new presentations for maximum impact, doing research to target the right approach.


Axel Kirstetter (LinkedIn)

Merrill Corporation

Seven Critical M&A Transaction Mistakes

The Art of M&A Integration 2nd Ed: A Guide to Merging Resources, Processes,and Responsibilties by Alexandra Reed Lajoux (Amazon)