Worth Reading

One of the biggest challenges in any profession is to stay informed
efficiently. We’ve compiled a list of books and articles that have helped to shape our thinking on topics relevant to mergers and acquisitions.

Here are some highlights that you are welcome to export as a PDF for reference.

How to start

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M&A Trends

Our Insights into Global M&A Trends 2016, Clifford Chance LLP

“In 2015, we saw the pipeline of potential major M&A deals coming to fruition, many of which had been contemplated for some time. As companies had cash reserves and acquisition finance conditions were favourable, we saw them begin to come to market. 2016 is expected to continue to see some high value M&A, however concerns around the Chinese (and world) economy and collapsing oil and commodity prices may see caution return to temper activity once again. Increasing political tensions globally, the prospective US election and ‘Brexit’ uncertainties may also impact activity as the year develops.”

Australia & New Zealand M&A Regional Report by David Rothnie in association with Merrill Datasite, January 2016

“Deal confidence remains high despite global selloff. Australia and New Zealand were M&A hotspots in 2015 and bankers predict that the region’s corporates will shrug off the slowdown in Asia and continue to look for growth through acquisitions in 2016.”

Global Private Equity Report 2016, Bain & Company, Inc.

“…entering 2016, the shadow of interest-rate increases in some markets and the risk of recession loom as tricky prospects that investors need to include in their deal-making calculus. More than ever, PE firms with finely tuned strategies and repeatable value-creation models will prosper. As we have seen over the past dramatic decade, smart investors find ways to overcome problems, make money for their constituents and earn the right to raise more money to fuel their continued growth.”

M&A Strategy

The Outlook for Global Growth in 2015 by Luis Enriquez, Ina Kota and Sven Smit, McKinsey & Company, March 2015

“Despite tempered expectations, most forecasters see strong growth ahead, accelerating in 2016. As our Global Economics Intelligence team reports, executives are focusing on divergent opportunities.”

Planning for Growth, Company Director Magazine, Domini Stuart for AICD, 1 October 2014

The number of Australian companies considering mergers and acquisitions as a potential growth strategy is steadily rising. Discover what businesses need to consider before embarking on the acquisition trail.”

The Five Types of Successful Acquisitions, McKinsey on Finance Number 36, Summer 2010

“The strategic rationale for an acquisition that creates value typically conforms to at least one of five archetypes. If an acquisition does not fit one or more of these archetypes, it is unlikely to create value.”

Cross-border M&A

Employment Law Toolkit for Cross-Border M&A Deals by White and Case, November 2014

In any merger or acquisition, especially in the cross-border context, human resources and employment law compliance have grown particularly vital. This article, written from a US perspective, provides an overview of key issues.

Best Practices of the Best Dealmakers M&A Series by Merrill DataSite and the M&A Advisor, 2013

“The business press is filled with many examples of culture clashes that have caused deals to fail. A primary goal for most buyers and sellers involved in cross-border M&A transactions is to capitalise on the synergies gained by combining their organisations. But synergy can quickly dissipate when the impact of decisions regarding the new organisational culture is misjudged.”

A Lighter Touch for Post Merger Integration, David Cogman and Jacqueline Tan, McKinsey Perspectives on Corporate Finance and Strategy Number 34, Winter 2010

Some Asian companies take a different approach to M&A outside their borders.

M&A Teams

M&A teams: When small is beautiful by Patrick Beitel and Werner Rehm, McKinsey on Finance Number 34, Winter 2010

Large M&A departments aren’t essential for making successful acquisitions.


Right Leaders for Growth Strategy? Katherina Herrmann, Asmus Komm and Sven Smit, McKinsey Quarterly, July 2011

“It takes a mix of leaders and talent to pursue a variety of growth strategies simultaneously. Few Executives can do it all.”

Retaining Key Employees in Times of Change by Sabine Cosack, Matthew Guthridge and Emily Lawson in McKinsey Quarterly, August 2010

Many companies throw financial incentives at senior executives and star performers during times of change. There is a better and less costly solution.

The Elusive Art of Post Merger Leadership by David G Fubini, Colin Price and Maurizio Zollo in The McKinsey Quarterly, 2006 Number 4

“Mergers that appear to be successful in the short term often destroy value later on. By concentrating on five issues, CEOs and top teams can increase the odds of a genuinely happy ending.”

Successful Mergers Start at the Top by David G Fubini, Colin Price and Maurizio Zollo in McKinsey on Finance, Autumn 2006

“A cohesive top management team is essential for integrating acquisitions effectively.”


Mergers and Acquisitions – Emotions at Work by Carolyn Taylor at Walking the Talk, 2015

“Anyone who has been holding lingering doubts about whether there really is such a thing as culture will have no doubt after living through the first few months of a merger or acquisition.”

Integrating Cultures After a Merger by Dale Stafford and Laura Miles, Bain & Company, 2013

“Practical tools for measuring cultural differences—and for managing the challenge of combining two organisations.”

Assessing Cultural Compatibility: Getting Practical About Culture in M&A, McKinsey Perspectives on Merger Integration, June 2010

“Most executives feel more comfortable dealing with costs and synergies than culture, despite the potential of culture to enhance or destroy merger value.In addition, CEOs all too often return from the deal table convinced that the companies’ cultures are similar and will be easy to combine. They miss the opportunity to use the merger as a catalyst to shift culture – both in the new organisation and the acquiring company.


Four Ways to Prioritise Employee Communication During Pharma M&A by Steve Sapletal of West Monroe Partners, Q1 2015

“Through March 2015, global biotech and pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions activity reached nearly $60 billion, a 94% increase from the same time in 2014, according to Reuters. Given the volume and value of these transactions, organisations cannot afford to make internal employee communication an afterthought during the M&A process. Unfortunately, many are missing the mark.”

Reducing Culture Clash in M&A with Social Merger Software by Chris McGrath ThoughtFarmer M&A Edition, 2014

Social merger software addresses the challenges of the M&A world by deploying intranet technology to meet the needs of merging organisations.

A Frontline Issue in M&A: Managing the Message by Jason Jaross, Ay Kawabori and Kirsten Martiniuk, Mercer 2013

“Cultural and communication challenges are among the top factors that are most likely to put deal synergies at risk. These people-related transaction and integration issues are considered of greatest importance to deal success, and are among the primary culprits when deals fail. Aggressive use of change management and communication principles is an M&A best practice that can reduce stakeholder resistance, increase synergies realised , and shorten overall implementation cycle time.”

People Issues

Retaining Key Employees in Times of Change by Sabine Cosack, Matthew Guthridge, and Emily Lawson, McKinsey Quarterly, August 2010

“Many companies throw financial incentives at senior executives and star performers during times of change. There is a better and less costly solution.”