McKinsey has supported half the top mergers completed worldwide since 2005—many of them of unprecedented scope and complexity. We help clients realize maximum deal value as quickly as possible by tapping the right sources of value; getting the new culture right; using the right tools and approaches to speed up integration; and building capabilities to execute the right future deals. We take a broad view of merger management, supporting clients from pre-announcement planning through post-close integration.
Specifically, we work with our clients to:
Tap the full value of synergies
Because 60–75 percent of historical mergers have failed, many companies are risk averse in their integration approach. We encourage clients to “aim higher,” using our synergies framework and extensive experience to explore the entire landscape of revenue and cost opportunities. This approach has helped them identify revenue-growth opportunities that exceed due diligence estimates by 30–150 percent.
Establish cultural compatibility
Culture—“the way we do things around here”—can be a real obstacle to successful integration. Our Organizational Health Index lets clients compare company practices along nine measurable dimensions to establish the cultural compatibility of the merging companies. A simpler version of the assessment, using publicly available information, can gauge compatibility even before deal announcement. We have catalogued more than 100 actions clients can take to mitigate the risks of culture clash.
Build client capabilities
As we help our clients execute today’s deal, we also build their capabilities for future mergers. Our Merger Management Boot Camp, an intensive workshop for integration teams, covers the entire merger process and produces practical solutions for the client’s top merger issues.
For example, in a merger of two major consumer goods companies, the acquirer recognized the superiority of the target’s distribution management approach and retooled its practices to match. Deal value jumped 75 percent.
Speed up integration
Our deep experience and proven tools accelerate successful merger integration. Our “clean teams” work behind legal firewalls until deal close, analyzing competitively sensitive data to locate potential synergies. Our proprietary software, Transformation Express (TEX), tracks progress against integration milestones, synergies, and integration costs across integration teams, around the world, in real time. Our Integration Management Office template helps create a master plan of all the activities of all of the integration teams, to speed up effective integration.
Discover new insights through our network
We have organized the Integration Council—a group of about ten senior executives with deep merger-management experience across sectors and geographies—as a source of best practices and real-world advice for our clients. Our annual merger- integration conferences, co-hosted with the Conference Board, are attended by hundreds of senior executives and integration managers, and yield valuable insights into how to deliver successful mergers.
Our ever-evolving Perspectives on Merger Integration is a collection of articles on such critical topics as synergies, cultural integration, the integration-management office, and capability building.
Mergers: Leadership, Performance, and Corporate Health , a book by David Fubini, Colin Price, and Mauricio Zollo, combines analysis of 167 mergers with academic research to identify five leadership challenges that every merger must overcome.
Articles published in the McKinsey Quarterly and McKinsey on Finance bring leading-edge thinking and practical advice from our merger-management experience and our proprietary research.