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Running HR Due Diligence in Mergers & Acquisitions

With the shift in business context, many organizations are either being bought out or merging with compatible organizations to strengthen capabilities and/or expand market reach/value.

When we consider the geographic spread of global M&A events, most flurries of activity take place in the developed worlds:

The largest deals by dollar amount in 2016 are listed below:

According to the Thomson Reuters Mergers & Acquisitions Review, published earlier this year, “worldwide M&A activity totaled US$777.7 billion during the first quarter of 2017, a 12% increase compared to the first quarter of 2016. During the quarter, 138 deals with a value greater than US$1 billion were announced, totaling US$501.1 billion, an increase of 19% compared to last year’s first quarter.” And the Financial Times reports that M&A boom will continue into 2017.

That means if your HR team has not been involved in any mergers or acquisitions (M&A) yet, it may just be on the way.

But not all is wine and roses in the world of M&As. An astonishing 70 to 90 percent of all M&As fail to achieve their anticipated strategic and financial objectives. This rate of failure is often attributed to various HR-related factors, such as incompatible cultures and management styles, poor motivation, loss of key talent, lack of communication, diminished trust, and uncertainty of long-term goals. So, how can HR Leaders prepare for a potential M&A activity?

Here are a few tips:

  • Understand the role of HR in M&A due diligence
  • Skill training around the anatomy of an M&A transaction
  • Skill training or locating roles to show leadership around business case development, influence, and project management
  • Skill training around organizational development (design, governance, and operations)
  • Clarity on key areas needing attention after the transaction
  • A good understanding of how to lead cultural evolution
  • Prepare to play the role of counsellor around technology, outsourcing, and global issues

Next: We share more on the anatomy of a M&A from an HR perspective. Stay tuned!

Date

  • 10 May 2017

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