What Is the M&A Process? The M&A process or lifecycle is arguably the longest business cycle in existence but, at the same time, the most rewarding one. The caveat is the size and complexity of the transaction.

Deals on the smaller end or micro-acquisitions can have a very short closing process. Either way, we don’t want you to skip any important steps amid the business of a deal.

This article will review the M&A lifecycle while giving you some tips and tools that you can use at each phase.

The 8 phases of the M&A lifecycle are:

Strategy Valuation Financing Structuring Due Diligence Negotiation Closing Integration 1 – The Strategy Phase

The strategy phase is where you set your deal criteria so that you can quickly filter through deals and focus on the ones that matter most. If you’re a first-time acquirer, the best place to start is with your current skill stack.

And if you already have a business, you want to search for a complementary acquisition or bolt-on. Let’s pretend that you own an accounting firm. To grow your core business, you could acquire a competitor, digital traffic assets, events, meet-ups, SaaS, and even social media groups.

Then as your skills, team, and business portfolio grow, you can branch out into other industries that share the same customer avatar as your accounting firm.

Other factors that can affect your deal criteria are your financing options, capital sources, geography, company size, company culture, tax laws, regulations, and language.

Once you have a strict list of what you want, you should have a clear picture of what you can do with a business after acquiring it.

2 – The Valuation Phase