The integration of acquisitions is still one of the weakest points in the M&A process. Failures of mergers are often caused due to problems in Post Merger-Integration. Given the importance of M&A for company development, failed acquisitions have a huge impact on long-term and short-term goals of the firm. The reasons for success and failure are broadly discussed in publications.
The work is aiming to contribute, which are key success factors for Post Merger-Integration in business practice, compared to ecommendations given in publications based on studies and experience. The intention is to have a clearer picture of the success drivers in practice and to understand why failure rates are still high despite known success factors. The approach is considering two aspects: several sources available in public, describing success factors in Post Merger-Integration and giving explanations for failures on one hand and interviews with a small, non representative group of representatives from companies, who are experienced in M&A. With these representatives structured interviews were performed to obtain details regarding: success definition, structure of the integration process (organization, tools, people, responsibilities, and time frame), setup of the process in dependence from internal and external requirements and, their opinion and recommendation on key success factors.
As a result some key success factors, which are highly accepted, are presented, but also some weak points, which can be used to understand and possibly improve the process. Some of these key areas concern the 'Fit of the acquisition', the importance of people in the process, giving special attention to communication aspects and the integration manager (person, role, competencies and responsibility) and to the execution of key success factors considering awareness problems.