A merger is a time of great opportunity for any company, but the merger and acquisition process is also full of complexity. A merger requires a great deal of preparation if it is going to go well, but even the most complete preparations can’t change the fact that the process is going to take a great deal of time and effort. It’s very easy for the process to get bogged down, especially if the people who are handling it don’t take the time to prepare an efficient merger plan. When that happens, many of the benefits of a merger disappear due to the cost and inconvenience of the inefficient process. There’s no way to ensure that the process goes well, but there are a few ways to increase the chances of success.
1. Gather the Paperwork
There is no such thing as a merger that does not involve going through a small mountain of paperwork. Getting all of the necessary documents together in advance is a great way to make sure that there are as few delays as possible.
It can be hard to predict which documents will be necessary in advance, but there are some that are almost always useful. Any deeds or other documents that prove ownership of assets, current contracts, information on current employees and projects, and anything else that pertains to current operations will be necessary. When in doubt, try to err on the side of preparing too many documents for easy access rather than preparing too few. It’s always better to have a few papers that you don’t need than it is to pause a meeting to go find one that you didn’t bring.
2. Take an Inventory
It’s impossible to conduct a merger without taking an inventory of every asset owned by both of the companies that are involved. Since it’s a vital part of the process, it’s best to get it over with as early as possible. Doing it later means that some parts of the merger will be conducted with an incomplete understanding over the companies that are involved. That can lead to mistakes, such as liquidating assets that are incorrectly believed to be redundant, or purchasing new supplies that turn out to be unnecessary.
Doing the inventory early also makes the process much easier. When companies perform early inventories, that can simply tally their individual resources and combine their lists at the end of the merger process. That allows the new partners to split the work between their employees, and ensures that nobody has to try to take an inventory of systems and assets from a company with which they are unfamiliar. That minimizes the chance of making a mistake that would force the newly-merged companies to repeat the process.
3. Prepare Strategic Documents
Both of the companies will have experience working with their own assets, and that experience will have led them to develop a variety of business strategies. Every manager in the new organization will need to become familiar with those strategies. In many cases, managers simply wait for the spread naturally. That can work in the case of small companies, but it’s very inefficient, and it can provide opportunities for inexperienced managers to make mistakes as they learn.
It is generally preferable for the companies to compile a set of documents that explain their business strategies. Those documents can easily be sent out to everyone who needs to read them. That will maximize the efficiency of the learning process and ensure that people spend less time learning about the additions to the company and more time putting them to good use.
4. Perform Legal Research
Mergers create plenty of work for lawyers, even when those mergers are perfectly friendly. Every transaction will be subject to a wide variety of laws, and it’s best to make sure that everyone who is involved with the transaction understands them. Start the process by having an experienced legal team brief all of the negotiators and managers on the laws, to make sure that they don’t make any mistakes that could put the transaction in jeopardy, according to Financial Business Solutions, Inc. This will take some time, but it’s much better to avoid mistakes entirely than it is to try and fix them after the fact when it comes to dealing with the law.