post-merger integration challenge

Post-Merger Integration

A common misperception about post-merger integration is that it can be tacked on to existing day-to-day responsibilities— that’s a recipe for unrealized value.
BCG’s framework for a successful PMI has helped clients capture 9% more value from their M&A deals.

More often than not, M&A deals destroy value; more than half of mergers and acquisitions fail or underperform. While the transactions still go through, they never unlock their full potential. That’s because the challenge of PMI—bringing together two organizations, each with its own processes, structure, culture, and management—is profoundly complex.

Our Approach to Post-Merger Integration Success

In short, PMI is one of the most challenging initiatives that a senior executive will ever undertake. To succeed, a PMI must achieve four fundamentally different objectives:

  1. Maintain momentum in the ongoing businesses.
  2. Maximize and accelerate synergies and value creation.
  3. Build the organization and align the cultures to drive the new company forward.
  4. Use the combined capabilities to advance the company’s competitive position.

In the past five years, we’ve helped major multinational companies complete more than 550 mergers and acquisitions. These M&A deals generated 9% more value for our clients, on average, than the average deal, in large part because of our PMI consulting services.

We help our clients succeed by combining deep industry and business strategy knowledge with comprehensive value delivery capabilities and expertise, thus accelerating and maximizing value creation throughout the deal and the PMI process.

Because no two PMIs are alike, it's hard to develop a formula. But BCG has articulated 12 imperatives for success in a three-phase approach: setting the direction, capturing the value, and building the organization. In the first phase, defining your basic objectives is essential. In the second phase, speed is crucial. And in the final phase, continuous communication ties everything together.

BCG's 12 Imperatives for Successful PMI

Set the Direction

Capture the Value

Build the Organization

Our Client Impact on Post-Merger Integration

PMIs are often treated as a one-size-fits-all process, yet each has its own speed, style, focus, and rhythm. The PMI strategy and process must be tailored to account for those differences. Here are a few examples of BCG’s post-merger integration consulting work with clients on their post-merger integrations:


Our Post-Merger Integration Tools and Resources

Beyond these imperatives, we support clients by leveraging our proprietary toolkit to help with the hundreds of decisions they face during an integration. We employ these tools to manage the complexity and ensure that every integration captures its intended value:

  • Our synergy database benchmarks data from hundreds of PMI projects to estimate and validate potential synergies.
  • Synergy Builder by BCG supports in defining potential synergies, setting top-down targets for each, and developing a detailed plan for their implementation.
  • OrgBuilder by BCG helps companies manage complex changes to their organization design through an interactive tool.
  • Our day-one PMI checklist provides a comprehensive list of priorities by function to ensure business continuity throughout the integration.
  • Our culture survey compares behaviors across both entities up front to reduce risk and increase the speed of the integration.
  • Hub by BCG tracks, consolidates, and coordinates the many integration workstreams and activities—an essential tool for the integration management office.
  • Key by BCG provides unparalleled transparency on synergy realization, potential implementation risks, and decision needs.

Our Insights on Post-Merger Integration

How to Shape an Organization's Culture

Focusing on culture is important for long-term success. Start by defining the culture you aspire to in the combined identity, and then the practical steps you need to achieve it.

Managing Talent and Culture During a Post-Merger Integration

BCG's Niamh Dawson discusses how to successfully manage talent and culture during an integration.

Our Experts on Post-Merger Integration

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