Lessons from Eight Successful M&A Turnarounds

M&A is tough, especially when it involves an underperforming asset that needs a turnaround. About 40% of all deals, on average, require some kind of turnaround, whether because of minor problems or a full-blown crisis.

With M&A valuations now at record levels, companies must pay higher prices simply to get a deal done. In this environment, leaders need a highly structured approach to put the odds in their favor.

We recently analyzed large turnaround deals—those in which the target was at least half the size of the buyer in terms of revenue, with the target’s profitability lagging its industry median by at least 30%. Our key finding was that these deals can be just as successful as smaller deals that don’t require a turnaround in terms of value creation. However, they have a much greater variation in outcomes. In other words, the risks are greater and the potential returns are also greater. Critically, our analysis identified four key factors that lead to success in turnaround deals.

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