M&A

Mergers and Acquisitions: Navigating the Latest Trends, Best Practices, and Future Outlook with Hylman Consulting

by Hassan Al-Shama | 17 Mar 2023

Hylman investigates the latest trends in mergers and acquisitions, best practices, post-M&A issues and solutions, and future outlook. Hylman, as a global management consulting firm with expertise in M&A strategies, due diligence, integration planning, and post-merger integration, strives to help companies achieve their strategic objectives and maximize the value of their transactions with innovation tactics and out of the box thinking.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have become an integral part of the corporate world, and they are increasingly being used as a tool to achieve strategic objectives such as gaining market share, expanding product offerings, and achieving economies of scale. In recent years, the M&A landscape has witnessed several changes in trends, best practices, and post-M&A issues. Hylman explores the latest trends in M&A, best practices, post-M&A issues and solutions, future outlook, and recommendations for companies looking to merge or acquire.


Latest Trends in Mergers and Acquisitions

  1. Cross-Border M&A: Cross-border M&A has become increasingly popular in recent years as companies look to expand into new markets and tap into new customer bases. According to a report by Mergermarket, the total value of cross-border M&A deals in 2021 reached $1.2 trillion, up 44% from 2020. This trend is expected to continue as companies seek to enter new markets and gain a competitive advantage.
  2. Digitalization: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digitalization, and this trend is expected to continue in the M&A landscape. Companies are now looking for targets that can help them to expand their digital capabilities and reach new customers through online channels. Digitalization can also help companies to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience.
  3. Private Equity: Private equity firms have become increasingly active in the M&A market, accounting for a significant proportion of deal activity. Private equity firms are now focusing on investing in companies with strong growth potential, and they are more willing to pay a premium for such companies. Private equity firms are also using more creative financing structures, such as mezzanine financing and earnouts, to complete transactions.
  4. Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs): SPACs have emerged as a popular alternative to traditional IPOs for companies looking to go public. SPACs are shell companies that raise capital through an IPO with the intention of acquiring an existing company. This allows companies to bypass the traditional IPO process and go public faster. SPACs have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the total value of SPAC mergers in 2021 reaching $183 billion.
  5. Consolidation: Consolidation has become a trend in industries that are highly fragmented, such as healthcare, technology, and consumer goods. Consolidation allows companies to gain market share, reduce competition, and achieve economies of scale. This trend is expected to continue as companies seek to gain a competitive advantage in highly competitive industries.
  6. ESG Focus: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have become increasingly important in the M&A landscape. Companies are now looking for targets that align with their ESG values and are taking ESG factors into account when evaluating potential targets. ESG considerations can also impact deal structure, valuation, and post-M&A integration.



Best Practices in Mergers and Acquisitions

    1. Conduct Thorough Due Diligence: Due diligence is critical to identifying any potential risks or issues that may impact the success of the transaction. Companies should conduct a thorough due diligence process that includes financial, legal, regulatory, and operational assessments of the target company.
    2. Develop a Detailed Integration Plan: Developing a detailed integration plan is critical to the success of the merger or acquisition. The integration plan should include timelines, key milestones, and clear roles and responsibilities for both the acquiring and target companies.
    3. Focus on Cultural Fit: Ensuring a good cultural fit between the acquiring company and the target company is critical to employee morale and retention. Companies should evaluate cultural fit during the due diligence process and develop a plan to integrate the two cultures.
    4. Communicate Regularly: Communication is essential throughout the M&A process and after the transaction has been completed. Companies should communicate regularly with employees, customers, and other stakeholders to ensure that they are informed and understand the impact of the merger or acquisition.
    5. Retain Key Employees: Retention of key employees is critical to the success of any M&A transaction. Companies should develop retention packages and provide clear career paths to retain key employees.
    6. Develop a Clear Branding Strategy: Companies should develop a clear branding strategy that ensures continuity of the brand while highlighting the new capabilities and synergies that the merger or acquisition brings.
    7. Seek Professional Advice: Mergers and acquisitions are complex transactions that require a high level of expertise. Companies should seek professional advice from experienced lawyers, accountants, and consultants to ensure that the transaction is structured correctly and all legal and regulatory requirements are met.

    By following these best practices, companies can increase the likelihood of a successful merger or acquisition and achieve their strategic objectives. Proper planning, communication, and retention of key employees are critical to the success of any M&A transaction.


Post-M&A Issues and Solutions

Even with the best planning and execution, post-M&A integration can present a variety of issues that can impact the success of the transaction, such as:
    1. Cultural Integration: The integration of different corporate cultures can be a significant challenge in the post-M&A period. These challenges include cultural differences, systems integration, and communication breakdowns. To address this issue, companies should invest in cultural training and communication programs to help employees understand the new corporate culture and values. They should also establish cross-functional teams that bring together employees from both companies to work on shared goals and build relationships.
    2. Integration of Technology: Technology integration can be a significant challenge in the post-M&A period. Companies should establish a technology integration team that includes representatives from both companies to identify the best way to integrate different technology systems and ensure data compatibility. Companies should also establish a clear technology roadmap that outlines the steps needed to achieve full integration.
    3. Employee Retention: Employee retention can be a challenge in the post-M&A period, particularly for key employees who may be concerned about job security or cultural fit. To address this issue, companies should develop retention packages that incentivize key employees to stay with the company. They should also establish clear career paths and provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills.
    4. Financial Integration: Financial integration can be a challenge in the post-M&A period, particularly for companies that have different accounting systems or reporting structures. To address this issue, companies should establish a financial integration team that includes representatives from both companies to identify the best way to integrate financial systems and ensure accurate reporting.
    5. Customer Retention: Customer retention can be a significant challenge in the post-M&A period, particularly if customers are concerned about changes to product offerings or customer service. To address this issue, companies should develop a clear customer communication strategy that outlines the benefits of the merger or acquisition and addresses any concerns that customers may have.
    6. Regulatory Compliance: Regulatory compliance can be a significant challenge in the post-M&A period, particularly if companies operate in different jurisdictions with different regulatory requirements. To address this issue, companies should establish a regulatory compliance team that includes representatives from both companies to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and requirements.
      Branding: Branding is another critical issue that companies face post-M&A. Companies should develop a clear branding strategy that ensures continuity of the brand while highlighting the new capabilities and synergies that the merger or acquisition brings.

Future Outlook

The future outlook for mergers and acquisitions is optimistic as companies continue to pursue strategic growth opportunities, driven by the increasing popularity of cross-border deals, digitalization, and private equity investments. Here are some of the trends that we can expect to see in the future:

  1. Digital Transformation: Companies will continue to invest in digital transformation to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and enhance customer experience. As a result, we can expect to see more acquisitions in the technology and software sectors.
  2. Healthcare M&A: The healthcare industry is experiencing significant disruption, and companies are looking for ways to capitalize on the opportunities presented by new technologies and changing regulations. We can expect to see more mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector, particularly in areas such as telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and data analytics.
  3. Cross-Border M&A: Globalization continues to drive cross-border M&A activity as companies seek to expand their geographic reach and access new markets. We can expect to see more cross-border M&A transactions, particularly in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
  4. ESG Integration: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are increasingly important to investors and stakeholders, and companies are beginning to incorporate ESG factors into their M&A strategies. We can expect to see more acquisitions of companies that align with a company's ESG goals and values.
  5. Consolidation: We can expect to see more consolidation within industries as companies look for ways to achieve economies of scale, reduce costs, and gain market share. Industries such as retail, banking, and telecommunications are likely to experience significant consolidation in the coming years.
  6. Private Equity: Private equity firms will continue to be active players in the M&A market as they look for ways to deploy capital and generate returns for their investors. We can expect to see more leveraged buyouts and acquisitions of distressed companies.


Recommendations for Companies Looking to Merge or Acquire

  • Conduct Thorough Due Diligence: Companies should conduct thorough due diligence to identify any potential issues or risks associated with the target company.
  • Develop a Detailed Integration Plan: Proper integration planning is critical to the success of any M&A transaction. Companies should develop a detailed integration plan that identifies key personnel and ensures that there is a clear communication plan in place.
  • Focus on Cultural Fit: Companies should ensure that there is a good cultural fit between the acquiring company and the target company. A lack of cultural fit can lead to issues with employee morale and retention, which can ultimately impact the success of the transaction.
  • Communicate Regularly: Communication is critical during the M&A process and after the transaction has been completed. Companies should communicate regularly with employees to ensure that they are informed and understand the impact of the merger or acquisition.
  • Retain Key Employees: Retention of key employees is critical to the success of any M&A transaction. Companies should develop retention packages and provide clear career paths to retain key employees.
  • Develop a Clear Branding Strategy: Companies should develop a clear branding strategy that ensures continuity of the brand while highlighting the new capabilities and synergies that the merger or acquisition brings.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Mergers and acquisitions are complex transactions that require a high level of expertise. Companies should seek professional advice from experienced lawyers, accountants, and consultants to ensure that the transaction is structured correctly and all legal and regulatory requirements are met.


In conclusion, mergers and acquisitions continue to be an essential tool for companies to achieve strategic objectives such as gaining market share, expanding product offerings, and achieving economies of scale. Companies need to be cautious and undertake proper due diligence, develop a detailed integration plan, and identify any potential issues that may arise post-M&A. Proper planning, communication, and retention of key employees are critical to the success of any M&A transaction. By following best practices and seeking professional advice, companies can increase the likelihood of a successful merger or acquisition and achieve their strategic objectives.

Hassan Al-Shama

CEO | Strategy, Real Estate, Commerce

Exposed to a wide array of sectors, Hassan consolidates his global experiences and packages that through innovation brought to the table believing in the vision of changing the way we do things. He believes that full potential is still locked away and clients are not getting the optimal value needed. With transformational strategies, Hassan leads with a vision of a bright future to fix the limitations and unleash a world of prosperity.

M&A

Mergers and Acquisitions: Navigating the Latest Trends, Best Practices, and Future Outlook with Hylman Consulting

Hylman investigates the latest trends in mergers and acquisitions, best practices, post-M&A issues and solutions, and future outlook. Hylman, as a global management consulting firm with expertise in M&A strategies, due diligence, integration planning, and post-merger integration, strives to help companies achieve their strategic objectives and maximize the value of their transactions with innovation tactics and out of the box thinking.

by Hassan Al-Shama | 17 Mar 2023