Integrating a high-stakes acquisition into a privately-held business

“Here we were, the little guy stepping up into the Big Leagues.  We convinced the banks to almost triple our level of debt and then loaded up our Balance Sheet to buy a business with revenues well above our own.  Our company and its future were on the line and we really had to execute. Financially, we knew what had to be done but we did not have a healthy appreciation of the integration challenges that were ahead.   Integration of work processes and company cultures are areas that require laser focus in the early going. I knew that we couldn’t afford false starts or disconnects.  We are lean.  We did not have a  large management team.  I was able to persuade the CEO that now was the time to bring in some external expertise.  This was contrary to past company practice…. business consultants had not been part of the equation here.  I was convinced it would be dollars well spent and he agreed to add the resource.

You were successful in inserting yourself into the Project Team and immediately gained their respect and confidence.  You made a difference in the velocity at which we were able to execute change.  Time is so important in endeavors like this.  We were faced with an onslaught of decisions that begged immediate action.  You brought us all together and led us through a process that demanded prioritization and effective communication.  I think it is called Change Management.

We were able to move faster than if we hadn’t brought in your resources. Your involvement gave us confidence that we were heading in the right direction, so it was less stressful. And we were able to do a series of later acquisitions without help, because we felt we knew what to do.”

–           President, U. S. specialty paper manufacturer