Mergers & Acquisitions

Our approach

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Acquisition strategy: Invest with a thesis Successful deal making requires a well-defined strategy and experience. 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?" The answers are rooted in strategy—and 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. Successful deals have an investment thesis that is founded on a firm's portfolio needs and clearly tied to growth strategy.

Diligence: Ask and answer the big questions
Sellers have a reason for selling. You need to know what you are buying and how you will make the business more valuable. Strategic due diligence is a forward-looking process that helps you understand how you can create value through an acquisition. 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. Our proprietary approach relies on conducting primary research. We talk to the key players in the target’s orbit and build insights gleaned from tearing apart thousands of "selling stories."

Merger integration: Integrate where it matters
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, 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. Deals undertaken to grow a company’s scale usually require a lot of integration while deals that expand the scope of the business often need a lighter touch.

Learn more about our full range of M&A services

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 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: To maximize a business's exit value, divestiture programs must be carefully orchestrated. We help companies maximize exit value in all phases: evaluating value-enhancing divestiture options as part of corporate strategy and preparing businesses for sale, which includes building the exit story and providing transaction support during the sale process.
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

    London

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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.