Advice from the top Irish M&A experts

Katharine Byrne, Head of the BDO Corporate Finance team and a member of the BDO International M&A Group recently featured in The Irish Times Special Report on Mergers & Acquisitions.

Many companies underestimate the M&A process which can include unrealistic expectations on valuation and timescale, says Katharine. She says poor preparation not only results in delays but can have significant impact on the value of the business for vendors.

Katharine says that to ensure a smooth transaction, it is important to engage good advisers and define what success looks like. This requires understanding at the outset the key objectives of all stakeholders from a personal, financial and business perspective.

“For acquirers, it is important to map out the acquisition rationale early in the process; while vendors need to understand the potential exit options available, ie, full or partial sale, maximise upfront or earnout consideration, continued involvement or quick exit.”

Preparation is key as is being realistic on outcomes, she continues. “Ensure you define clearly the key value drivers of the business and don’t try to hide any weaknesses but seek to mitigate them.” Additionally, efficient project management, flexibility and due diligence are also important.

“Finally, the success of all M&A is dependent upon what happens after the legal docs are signed; ie, the success of the integration or implementation plan.”

“For trade buyers, the planning of the integration needs to start at the beginning of the discussions, and it is important to ensure the key management are involved in preparing this integration plan. Similarly for private equity buyers, the implementation or rollout of the business plan is key to delivering the success of the business and overall private equity returns. In both cases, early planning and clear communication is key to the success post completion.”

Content adapted from The Irish Times.

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