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Intelligent M & A: Navigating the Mergers and Acquisitions Minefield, 2nd Edition by Scott Moeller, Chris Brady

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CHAPTER 1The Need for Intelligence in Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are an integral part of the global strategic and financial business landscape, whether one is part of the acquiring company, the target, a competitor, an advisor (including investment bankers, accountants, lawyers, and many others), an investor, a regulator, or someone living or working in the neighboring community.

Although fluctuating widely from periods of peaks and troughs of merger activity, the baseline size and growth of mergers is clear. In fact, the “slow” period of activity in 2002 was well in excess of the “peak” of activity in the late 1980s. Even the downturn following the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 saw levels of M&A activity remaining well above $2 trillion annually for at least six years, which isn't much of a downturn when compared to levels only a dozen years earlier. At the time of writing, it is unclear whether M&A deal volume will increase or not from that level but, whether up or down, the absolute number of deals will certainly remain high.

Yet despite this impressive level of activity, mergers and acquisitions are often misunderstood and misrepresented in the press and by those who are engaged in each transaction. Deals, especially when hostile, cross-border, or among large companies, might be front-page news (and interestingly there are some days when every story covered on the first page of the Financial Times is about an acquisition), yet there is a great deal ...

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