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Dealing with deal breakers in merger discussions

By Andrew Hedley, Director, Hedley Consulting

14 March 2013

In any merger discussion, there will be a limited number of areas which have the potential to be deal breakers. These range from issues of strategic significance to those of timing. In the first category are questions which challenge the longer-term logic of a deal which has few tactical obstacles. The second is concerned with significant tactical challenges which appear insurmountable despite a strong strategic rationale.

While issues such as IT infrastructure, operational systems, processes and line management need to be worked through and agreed, they rarely constitute challenges to overall viability. Deal breaker issues go deeper and strike at the core of strategy, culture and economics.

At the outset, parties must see a strong strategic fit and significant unrealised potential into which the new firm could tap. This may emanate from the joint client base, practice area sy...

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