Mergers & Acquisitions

Our approach

Based on our analysis and years of experience—including more than 10,000 M&A-related projects across a wide range of industries and geographies—our mergers and acquisitions experts believe that the key to successful M&A is a repeatable model; one that companies can return to over and over again to reap substantial rewards.

Rollover the graphic below to learn more about the repeatable model for M&A.

The virtuous cycle for M&A begins by building a strong M&A capability that forms the foundation for the success of the model's five key steps:

  • Corporate strategy and acquisition strategy: Develop a clearly articulated strategy and an M&A plan that reinforces that strategy. Strategy is Bain & Company's heritage; with more than 40 years of experience helping companies develop time-tested strategies, we understand the types of deals that create value and those that don't.
  • Deal thesis: Invest with a thesis. Successful deals are guided by a meaningful deal thesis that is tied to a firm's growth strategy and that spells out how the deal will add value both to the target and acquiring company.
  • Strategic due diligence: Ask and answer the big questions. The best acquirers investigate targets with a nose for what's really important, identifying the key sources of ongoing value and sniffing out any "perfumed pigs" buffed up for sale. A frequent acquirer knows exactly where it can add value and is therefore able to set its own price—and to walk away if the price isn't right.
  • Merger integration planning: Integrate where it matters. No two integrations are the same, and companies must carefully consider aspects from culture to IT in order to realize the full value of the deal.
  • Merger integration execution: Nail the short list of critical actions. Merging two companies requires rigorous follow-through on a long list of integration tasks, large and small. Doing both is hard. Part of the answer lies in a few, powerful guiding principles: tailor the integration thesis to the deal thesis; integrate where it matters; and act with deliberate speed.

Bain's mergers and acquisitions consultants help companies build and execute on their own repeatable models for M&A. We also apply our expertise to guide companies and management teams that are deciding where to grow and shed through joint ventures and alliances or divestitures and separations.

Our work is continually informed by the latest M&A analyses and insights which ensure that our teams and clients have access to information and conclusions about how the best acquirers succeed.

What we do

The primary purpose of M&A is not to grow big fast, but for companies to do what they do better. Mergers and acquisitions work is deeply ingrained in Bain. We have worked on thousands of M&A projects serving companies across industries and geographies. We offer clients a disciplined approach to deal making and M&A end-to-end support. We bring our expertise to all elements of the deal value chain, including:

  • Acquisition strategy: The question behind every deal should be: "How will buying this asset make my existing business more valuable, and how will I bring value to the asset I am buying?" We help companies build their M&A programs as a vector of growth strategy. We will work with companies to decide where to invest and where to divest in line with corporate strategy, prioritize growth opportunities and develop tailored M&A programs based on a client’s previous experience.
  • Acquisition screening: We help clients develop an investment thesis that is aligned with strategy and growth opportunities. We work to enhance deal flow by screening targets based on criteria set in the M&A acquisition strategy process and develop a road map to approach targets.
  • Strategic due diligence: We collaborate seamlessly with client teams to help companies make better investment decisions. We generated insights through world-class diligence to prove or disprove the deal thesis, realistically assess synergies and chart the course of integration early. Experience matters: we are three times larger than our nearest competitor in conducting strategic due diligence for global clients.
  • Merger integration: To make a deal pay off, you have to nail a short list of critical actions. But merging two companies also requires rigorous follow-through on a long list of integration tasks. Doing both is hard. Bain is the best positioned consultancy to help companies strike that balance. We bring a unique approach that is highly tailored to the specifics of a deal to capture value from day one. Drawing on our accumulated experience, we also bring time-tested process management skills to assure the to-do list gets completed. Historically, Bain-supported integrations have generated 20 percent higher excess shareholder returns.
  • Joint ventures and alliances: Bain assists clients throughout the joint venture process: strategy development, partner selection and operating implementation. We have found that alliances go wrong most frequently due to neglect of the first stage–strategy development. Therefore, we focus disproportionately on ensuring that deals are structured correctly from the outset, with a very clear, shared vision and a solid understanding of mutual economics.
  • Divestitures and Separations: Bain works alongside companies to manage their portfolios and decide where to grow and where to shed. Sometimes, by thoughtfully divesting non-core assets or separating organizations, management can better focus its attention on its core business and unlock substantial shareholder value.
Insights
We develop insights that work for our clients. Our approach and recommendations are highly customized and lead to practical actions. Read some of our experts’ perspectives on important issues—for our clients and their industries.
Our team

We work as an integrated part of your team, from frontline to C-suite, to deliver true results and make the changes stick. We have a core group of senior M&A focused experts that we deploy across the globe.

Our leadership team

  • David
  • David Harding

    Leader of Bain's Global M&A practice

    Boston

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  • Ted
  • Ted Rouse

    Leader of Bain's Global M&A practice

    Chicago

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  • Philip
  • Philip Leung

    Leader of Bain's Asia-Pacific M&A practice

    Shanghai

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  • Laura
  • Laura Miles

    Leader of Bain's Americas M&A practice

    Atlanta

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  • Arnaud
  • Arnaud Leroi

    Leader of Bain's EMEA M&A practice

    Paris

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  • Richard
  • Richard Jackson

    Leader of Bain's EMEA M&A practice

    Amsterdam

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In addition to the leaders listed above, we have an extensive and diverse team of experts ready to serve the needs of clients worldwide. Please contact us to submit a business inquiry.