How Post-Merger Integration Timing Impacts Your Plan

A well-designed post-merger integration plan is essential for a successful closing. An organization must plan for a post-merger integration during the pre-closing period because the time available before Day 1 dictates the work that can be completed. Consequently, the organization must triage tasks based on importance and time available.

Post-Merger Integration Timeline Before Day 1

The most critical tasks for an aggressive, accelerated, and relaxed integration timeline

Aggressive timeline

  • Immediate focus on critical activities required to close the transaction (e.g., legal and finance)
  • Communicate with key internal and external stakeholders, including staff of both companies
  • Setup the Integration Management Office (IMO) and integration workstreams
  • Address the most urgent people-related themes
  • Plan for few changes on Day 1
  • Create a Day 1 run of play

Accelerated timeline

  • All activities from the aggressive timeline
  • A more thorough assessment of personnel and key employees
  • High-level understanding of the operating model of the acquired company
  • Potentially, a design of Day 1 organization structure
  • Begin to understand the status quo in the acquired company
  • Plan for minimal changes on Day 1

Relaxed timeline

  • All activities from the aggressive and accelerated timelines
  • More thorough understanding of the operating model of the acquired company
  • Design elements of the target operating model for the integrated company
  • Plan for several changes on Day 1

If timing is tight and only a few weeks are available before the close, pre-closing activities must focus on the crucial legal, financing, communication and people-related topics. If there are four to six weeks to the close, a more thorough integration planning process can occur for all the workstreams, not just the most crucial Day 1 workstreams. With even more time available, organizations can also design a target operating model for the combined organization.

By: Alexey Saltykov, Practice Leader, Post-Merger Integration and Digital Transformation and Chris Penhalluriack, Senior Associate, Strategy & Operations

Plan your post-merger integration timing with our PMI checklist.