I agree with most of what was said in the article, but would add from my own experience that the most successful acquisitions are those that have the following qualities:
- The rationale (strategic goals) for the transaction is compelling and well articulated.
- The target is much smaller in size than the acquiring company.
- The target has a similar culture to the acquiring company (the target is a "good fit" with the acquiror).
- The target's systems are similar to the acquiring company or can be easily ported over to or integrated with the acquiror's systems.
- The due diligence has been comprehensive and any any issues (and there are always issues) have been resolved before the closing.
- The integration process is transparent and well-managed. The integration team should be involved very early on in the due diligence process and continue through the post-closing integration process. Communication is key.
- The retained employees of the target should be appropriately incentivized and aligned with the success of the merger.
In my experience, acquisitions that have the above elements have a much greater probability of success than those without these elements.
Here's a link to the NYTimes DealBook article: