Understanding Your M&A Challenges 

Throughout our many years working in this space we know that transition struggles with substantial post M&A integration is not uncommon; the nature of the issues just differ depending on industry. When we initially engaged with a Fortune 200 retail client, we immediately uncovered several challenges they would face as they tackled this transition, namely:

  • The cost of the large consulting firm they were using was not sustainable over the likely duration of the integration, and the planning versus execution skill sets were not really what was needed to proceed 
  • There was much larger redundancy in suppliers, products, and facilities than had been considered in pre-close due diligence 
  • A clear understanding of the integration plan, roadmap process, one-time cost tracking, and synergy attainment did not exist 
  • Time and attention spent on the integration process by key business operators severely putting to risk continuity of day-to-day operations 

With a commitment to shareholders to deliver $600 million in recurring annual synergies,the client struggled with the assembly and alignment of transitioning from the “what” and “when” stages to developing the “how” plan; those first steps as to where to begin remained elusive.

Achieving Success Through Partnership 

The end result of this integration well-exceeded the original expectations in the clients’ acquisition thesis. They hit targets before deadlines, improved integration efficiency, and in the end, our contributions were recognized through their awarding to ESG their Partner of the Year status.

Other concrete results included:

  • $750M annual recurring synergy realization in under three years (a 25% overachievement)
  • Rationalization of hundreds of thousands of SKUs
  • Conversion and / or closure of 21 distributions centers

The Right Partner Makes All the Difference

As we have learned, the only way through tough M&A challenges is bold and decisive action, but few companies are equipped to tackle these problems the first time they come up against them. This is where ESG makes our most substantial contributions with our clients.


Mark Newhall

Founder of ESG