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How to Make a Marketing Plan to Optimize Mergers and Acquisitions

Hal Conick

A smooth marketing plan can ease transitions and make brands stronger

When AOL and Time Warner merged in 2000, it was a big deal—$165 billion big. Time Warner executive Ted Turner said the transaction was “better than sex,” words not likely uttered often about mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Most deals aren’t quite so sexy—and as it turns out, neither was AOL-Time Warner’s, as the conglomerate split up after nine years, losing $100 billion—but M&A occurs frequently, especially in the middle market. Investopedia cites common middle market industries, such as health care, technology and financial services, as those where companies are most frequently bought or sold. 

It’s an especially active time for M&A in the middle market. The Mergermarket Group, an M&A media company, reports that dollar volume and deal volume of middle market M&A were both “above their historical averages” in 2016. A report from Citizens Commercial Banking’s “Middle Market M&A Outlook 2017” says that this year will be even more active, as 53% of sellers are open to or currently making a sale, up from 34% in 2016. On the buyers’ side, 73% said they’re currently involved in or open to a deal, up from 60% in 2016.

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Hal Conick is a freelance writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at halconick@gmail.com or on Twitter at @HalConick.