The Urge to Merge

by Paul Tarricone, Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 2, Pg. 54-56

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: A report issued in 1994 by the Professional Services Management Association offers a glimpse into the world of mergers and acquisitions in the architecture/engineering industry, through case histories and interviews with senior executives. While M&As have been surging, the report warns companies to do their homework before pursuing an M&A and to expect the unexpected once the deal is completed. The executives interviewed for the report speak on topics including the importance of cultural chemistry, determining the value of a potential acquisition, communicating the M&A to employees, lessons learned, and the motivation behind the mergers (usually the need to gain a new area of expertise or a foothold in a geographic area). Among the advice offered to would-be buyers: 1. Don't rush into it; 2. Talk to the target company's clients or have a third party do it for you; 3. Get good professional advisors (lawyer, CPA) with experience in M&As; 4. Recruit within the firm being acquired; 5. Make sure the two companies' cultures mesh; 6. Have a realistic idea of how long it will take for the two companies to operate as a unit. The article features five vignettes from the PSMA report that describe details of the courtships between companies and the early stages of the marriages.

Subject Headings: Architect/engineers | Case studies | Guidelines | Mergers and acquisition |

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