Change is a constant in the business world. Companies are founded, expanded, split, spun and sold, and they often merge with others or acquire another company. Of course, each of these types of transactions has its own set of rules, regulations and processes it must go through. One of the more frequently used types of transactions is mergers and acquisitions (M&As), of which there are several different varieties.

Why a Smooth Post-Merger Transition Is Vital

Knowing that the end result of the M&A is a “new” company that is prepared to be successful, it’s vital to make sure there are no issues post-merger. For most companies undergoing a merger or acquisition, it’s an uncertain time where there are many moving parts and a lot of things are in flux for a while, so once the dust of the transaction has settled, it’s important for the company to be able to focus on its goal in the post-merger era. Knowing how to handle the post-merger integration is key.

Why Use a Post-Merger Integration Checklist?

A post-merger checklist is a document created during the M&A process that spells out the steps to integrate the merged (or acquired) companies. It is used to help smooth out the process after the company has gone through the entire merger cycle. Understand it’s not simply about the company’s assets and processes, but about the employees as well. There is always a lot of uncertainty among the staff whenever there’s any type of merger or acquisition, mainly because there is often a certain amount of overlap and, in many cases, staff cuts are made, due to redundancy.

A Typical Post-merger Checklist

Any type of merger means massive change for the organization and the employees as well. Having a post-merger checklist completed before the transition begins is a necessary step to smooth out any bumps that will undoubtedly occur during the process. A post-merger integration checklist should include the following:

  1. Timeline of Public-Facing Changes
  • Draft a timeline and an action plan for the overall integration plan.
  • Develop a new business model for the post-merged company.
  • Finalize and maintain detailed integration checklists.
  1. Human Resources
  • Identify and plan to eliminate redundancies, which includes drafting severance documents.
  • List hiring needs for both the short-term (temporary workers) and the long-term (permanent employees).
  • Prepare packages for new hires that include onboarding documents and a benefits overview.
  • Create lists of any benefits or compensation packages that will be changing post-merger.
  • Communicate all HR policy changes to employees and stakeholders.
  1. IT
  • Develop an organizational chart for the post-merger company.
  • Transfer all employee data in tandem with HR.
  • Partner with key IT stakeholders to merge systems, including HR and payroll.
  • Ensure that all data and systems are fully merged and functional in the post-merged company.
  1. Senior Leadership
  • Are all the executives on the same page with business strategy?
  • Is the new team behaviorally equipped to lead the new organization?
  • Is the chemistry among the leadership team non-toxic?
  1. Organizational Structure
  • Is the current organizational structure still a good fit for the post-merger entity?
  • Will the strategy of the company remain the same or require some tweaking?
  • Is the current organizational structure limited, and is there room to grow in new areas?
  1. Manager-Employee Relationships
  • Is the merger going to impact both middle- and front-line management?
  • Are there any new reports to these managers?
  • Is the current leadership style in tune with the employees’ needs in the post-merger organization?
  1. Team Dynamics
  • What behavioral traits are important for each team within the company to achieve its goals?
  • Is there currently talent within the company to fill this void?
  • Does the company hire from outside or from within to improve team dynamics?
  1. Communicating Company and Brand Culture
  • Do “both sides” of the merger have different corporate cultures? Do these cultures clash in any way?
  • If so, which culture is the best for the company moving forward?
  • How will this culture be encouraged, rewarded and reinforced?

Your post-merger integration checklist should include all the high-level items that your company requires when merging. Of course, you will have to adapt certain things to your particular situation. Open communication in these uncertain times is definitely one of the keys to success.

Utilizing a VDR Post-Merger

No matter what type of M&A transaction your company is going through, one important tool for the process is a virtual data room (VDR). A VDR is a secure, online location where companies involved in an M&A are able to store and share all the required documentation, including a post-merger checklist. All VDRs feature highly secure access and include enterprise-level encryption, multiple layers of security and user-friendly admin controls. Data that is stored on a VDR is protected by version control, which allows only parties involved in the transaction to access only the appropriate documents.

The CapLinked Solution

For any company working on (or even planning) an M&A and a post-merger integration, partnering with a trusted third-party VDR provider will help streamline the process, both logistically and financially. CapLinked VDRs include a user-friendly interface and the ability to work on virtually every type of computer or internet-connected device, making CapLinked the only choice for any company involved in a merger or acquisition. Contact us today for a free trial of an industry-leading VDR solution.

Chris Capelle is a technology expert, writer and instructor. For over 25 years, he has worked in the publishing, advertising and consumer products industries.


Career Minds – Creating a Post-Merger Integration Checklist (Plus a Sample)

BDC – Post-merger integration checklist

Wall Street Mojo – Process of M&A (Mergers and Acquisition)