A Recap of the SEC Professionals Group Meeting

September 01, 2016

1. The transaction process is time consuming and stressful.

Probably not a surprise to most, but one common theme from the conversation was the amount of effort that goes into closing a transaction, regardless of the type (i.e., merger, acquisition, divestiture, etc.). There are often surprises during the process, even for companies that are “serial acquirers.” Work/life balance can become more of an “imbalance,” but the key is to focus on the opportunities (both for individuals and the company) that can come out of the process.<

2. Bring in the specialists.

Although it may be difficult to get multiple parties together and on the same page early on during the transaction process, soliciting advice and feedback from third-party specialists (i.e., attorneys, bankers, auditor, valuation, etc.) during the onset of the project can often save time down the road. From determining the best transaction type to pursuing the public filings that will be required, all parties will likely have different perspectives on the transaction, and getting agreement early on may result in less rework.

3. Get your story straight.

Once the transaction becomes public, an announcement discussing the transaction will likely need to be made including growth expectations, expected synergy amounts, and timing, etc. It is important to make sure these items have been thoroughly discussed and analyzed since the market’s expectations will be set upon the announcement.

4. Post-transaction infrastructure may be different.

Depending on the type of transaction (particularly a merger or acquisition), it is possible that your company may need to develop new competencies to support the post-transaction business. This could range from new corporate functions and skill sets to new physical assets. Either way, there may be new functions or proficiencies that will need to be learned by existing personnel.

5. Retain the best talent.

It is often assumed that personnel from the target company has a higher risk of turnover than the personnel from the buyer company. However, that may not necessarily be the case. Many companies focus on retaining the best talent, regardless of which side of the transaction those individuals may come from. This process can lead to more opportunities and also help cross-pollinate the culture.