About the 2 stages
At the core of our pursuit of the optimal transaction for clients is the belief that it cannot be achieved without thinking before linking. At least we can say that the only way to make the optimal deal without first engaging in rigorous thinking is to have a lot of luck. We believe is relying on thinking rather than luck.
There's no point trying to find the optimal partner until we have clearly understood what this means in practice for a particular client. And indeed since optimal means a very different thing to each client due of its specific situation, resources and objectives, the profile of optimal has to be understood, challenged and defined with precise thinking.
'The 3 Graces' come to play in thinking.
Strategic thinking helps us define what optimal means and how we are most likely to find it.
Arbitrage thinking lets us check whether there is room for enhancing the strategy by focusing on trans-border, trans-sector or trans-scale partners or trans-formation oneself in advance of a deal.
Methodological thinking provides the rigour to the thinking process to make sure all appropriate steps are taken in proper sequence: evaluation, strategy, arbitrage check, partner scoring strategy, partner research, and client attractiveness.
The result of these six steps in thinking is an M&A Plan which summarises what we will try to achieve in the linking phase and why; and which sets out the parameters for the timeline of this phase, as well as the attributes of the best partner, their prioritisation and weighting. This provides the road map without which we believe launching into linking would be ill-advised. Usually the M&A Plan has already picked the right partners before any linking occurs.
Of course, thinking doesn't stop when linking begins. But, with an accurate road map in place, linking goes forward with clear direction.
'The 3 Graces' reappear in linking to make it more successful.
Strategic linking means that we investigate the strategic fit of the partner in three steps: Partner Synergy Evaluation, Joint Business Planning and the reward element of our Risk-Reward Analysis. This emphasis on strategic fit allows greater focus on the most suitable partners.
Arbitrage linking comes from our skill in delivering in practice on arbitrage opportunities identified during the thinking phase. Our experience and capability in trans-border, trans-sector, trans-scale, and trans-formational deals means we can translate such thinking in these directions into concrete links.
Methodological linking is the thread which runs through the day-to-day M&A process. Our strong methodological approach makes sure the timing and sequencing of each step is planned and the complex trade-off between thoroughness, opportunity and speed is constantly challenged.