Many infrequent acquirers learn “how to do M&A” when they experience live transactions. Learning by doing does not provide a company an adequate understanding of how M&A works and leads to costly mistakes. The investment banking firms that introduce deals to companies are in business to close those transactions, not to educate the companies about how everything works. However, with such a large number of failing M&A transactions, companies would benefit from building more understanding and capacity beforehand to conduct the kinds of acquisitions they want and need to reach their strategic goals.
In the absence of an existing in-house M&A team, many firms’ only option thus far has been to educate their team by sending one or two executives off to a week-long training program at a prestigious university at a cost of $10K – $15K per person. The team is expected to return and apply what they have learned to their company’s M&A processes. The problem with training only one or two persons is that effective M&A typically require many more company members to have expertise in M&A. Further, there is no university located in the Southeast that currently offers such classes.
Watermark addresses this problem with an in-house training program for companies in the form of a one-day Master Class in Mergers & Acquisitions. Our classes allow a company’s whole team that is or will be involved in a transaction to attend the training together. The fee for the Master Class is a fraction of the cost of the week-long university classes. This is a cost-effective training for a larger team conducted on the company’s premises. With everyone attending at one time, teams are more likely to build sustainable capacity, dialogue on the issues, and collaborate to implement best practices.
During the seminar, the Master Class in M&A takes participants through three core phases that must be mastered to win at acquisitions: the preparation, transaction, and integration phases. In the preparation phase the class walks participants through seven sequential steps that help an acquirer get very specific about acquisition criteria, markets, and specific companies that, if acquired, would fit the company’s overall strategy. In the transaction phase, participants learn best practices around key systems of the deal itself: valuation, synergy analysis, negotiations, financing the transaction, general and cultural due diligence, deal design and integration planning. Finally, in the integration phase participants learn nine steps that the most successful acquirers follow to successfully integrate acquisitions within a two-year time period.
Watermark also offers the Master Class on a city-wide basis several times a year. In this class, the same content is taught; however, different companies attend the same class, by sending one or two team members each.
What You Will Learn In The Master Class In M&A
- Why most companies fail to meet their ROI goals
- What many companies overlook and under resource
- How to build an internal team of experts
- How to properly match an acquisition candidate to the strategic purpose of the deal
- Methods of valuation and synergy assessments
- How high performing acquirers address due diligence
- Which M&A processes need to be executed in conjunction with each other
- Best practices behind integrating the target and its people
- How to blend cultures together successfully
- Alternative options to Mergers & Acquisitions
While attending the Master Class on a company’s premises or as part of a city-wide class will not give one the experience, and depth and nuance of understanding that an investment banker utilizes to guide an acquirer to a successful completion of an acquisition, it will equip participants to: understand the M&A processes much better, avoid the common pitfalls, and maximize their company’s likelihood of success in acquisitions. The company will be better prepared for a future M&A transaction.