Lessons from serial acquisitions

3. February 2022

This article is more than one year old

Helene Loe Colman

Listen to podcast – Learn from a champion of Mergers and Aquisitions. What are the do’s and don’ts when acquiring companies?

When we talk about Mergers and Acquisitions, we tend to think about the difficult process of finding good matches and then doing the actual deal. But maybe the integration stage is more challenging?

In this episode of Stay Ahead you will hear the main learnings from Visma’s multiple post-M&A integration processes and how they are linked to the latest research on the topic.

Hear the story of a serial acquirer

Visma, a company delivering software solutions, has grown from 300 to more than 8000 employees in 22 years and has done hundreds of acquisitions along the way.

For Visma, one of the main motivations for acquiring, has been to expand its market presence. Instead of doing it the hard way by growing organically into a new market, they acquire strong established companies with local market knowledge. Their second motive is to acquire companies with the latest technology, to remain innovative in their business areas.

To integrate or not to integrate?

What is important after the deal is signed after acquiring the company with the right profile for the right reasons? Do you swallow it whole and hope it digests?

Wisma’s experience is that full integrations, are not the way to go. Instead, they prefer a hybrid way, balancing what the acquirer wants vs what the acquired wants to preserve. Visma lets the competitive advantage of the company live on and offer infrastructure and support functions.

Listen to the episode and you will also learn more about:

  • How to deal with the different company cultures?
  • What are the challenges of being a serial acquirer?
  • How can a company build lasting acquisition capabilities?

Øystein Moan

Øystein Moan is the current Executive Chairman and former CEO of Visma. He did the first acquisition after working a few days in the organisation and has since then undergone hundreds of acquisitions.

Helene Colman

Professor Helene Colman conducts research on post-M&A integration and international strategies, and is particularly focused on organizational identity, managerial agency, and capability building.

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