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Studie: M&A Treiber für die digitale Transformation

Eine klare Digitalisierungsstrategie ist entscheidend für die erfolgreiche digitale Transformation des Geschäftsmodells von Unternehmen. Um ihre digitalen Fähigkeiten zu erweitern, setzen die deutschen Unternehmen auf den Zukauf von Know-how.

4. Digitalised

4. Digitalised dealmaking From key decision through targeting and due diligence and all the way to integration, digitalisation is transforming the M&A process. And our survey reveals that companies that have completed successful deals are more likely to use digital tools as part of the process M&A is always a risky business. The harsh reality is that some deals fail either because the transaction was a poor fit in the first place, or because the integration was bungled. Companies making acquisitions with digital objectives are as vulnerable to these risks as other types of acquirer. Indeed, there may be additional risks with digital deals. New technologies – or applications of them – may not be fully proven. The scope for culture clashes, particularly where a large business is buying an innovative start-up, is extensive. Or the fast-moving pace of digital development may simply render a particular strategy out of date. It is therefore imperative that digital dealmakers are alert to these dangers from the outset – both the challenges posed by all M&A and the issues thrown up particularly by digital deals. Equally, there is no reason to be intimidated by digitalisation; new digital tools can provide the key to unlocking value during the M&A process, as early adopters are already finding. 4.1 Digital deal drivers The most successful M&A is executed from an absolutely clear perspective of what the buyer hopes to achieve with a transaction, enabling it to identify the right potential targets and then to execute the transaction with clear end goals in mind. Figure 18 How important were the following motives for your transaction decision? Economic goals (e.g., revenue, operating profit, cost savings) 1% 7% 53% 39% Achieve strategic renewal 1% 15% 68% 16% Add strategically valuable products 1% 17% 51% 31% Access to new business models 3% 16% 33% 48% Enhance market power 1% 18% 43% 38% Add strategically valuable technologies 1% 19% 41% 39% Add strategically valuable capabilities 2% 21% 43% 34% Of little importance Moderately important Important Very important Note: n = 150 24

Importantly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital transactions. Companies engaged in digital deals may actually be pursuing very different goals – and they are also aware that the ground is constantly shifting. “The rapid pace of technology change makes it very challenging to predict how our business will be affected in the coming years,” says the chief information officer of one company. “There are so many emerging technologies that will further disrupt the market and change the way companies function, interact and progress in the future.” For example, as we see in figure 18, 48% of businesses say their desire to access new business models was a very important motivation for their most recent digital deal; such buyers are effectively pursuing transformational goals through their M&A activity. By contrast, 39% say the need to add strategically valuable technologies was a very important motive; their efforts are more likely to focus on integrating new tools into their existing business. Meanwhile, 39% of respondents also described economic goals as very important; their priority will be to hit the commercial targets set in their deals. In each of these cases, the identification of bid targets, the work to execute the deal and the subsequent integration work needs to be viewed through the lens of the most important deal drivers. An acquirer seeking to use M&A to drive cross-business transformation is unlikely to be successful if it subsequently keeps its new asset operating on a standalone basis at arm's-length from the rest of the company. 4.2 Target acquired When it comes to identifying and selecting prospective new additions, many German companies in this study are already making good use of a wide range of tools, including digital functionality. Some 40% of respondents make extensive use of business information platforms, for example, while 37% collect publicly available data. This information augments their own knowledge, secured through primary research or existing industry information (figure 19). Importantly, however, there is considerable scope to apply new digital tools to this data, streamlining the collection process and generating better-quality Figure 19 To what extent did you use the following channels to obtain information on potential targets? Publicly available data (e.g., annual reports, company websites) 3% 15% 45% 37% Internal industry knowledge 1% 17% 43% 39% External business information-platforms (e.g., Bloomberg database) 6% 21% 33% 40% Primary data collection (e.g., interviews, sensor-based data) 14% 15% 24% 26% 21% Not at all To a limited extent To a moderate extent To a large extent To a very large extent Note: n = 150 25

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