This is a fantastic piece in Nature by Anu Acharya, CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions in India. I recommend reading the article in full. A few key points that struck us as we read it:
1. Mergers are not exclusive to large, multinational companies. Small companies can grow through mergers, provided….
2. …that the core team surrounds itself with legal, financial, and industry advisors and consultants. Essentially, think of this as an outsourced M&A team brought together to execute a specific task, working closely with internal senior management.
3. Opportunities can come from anywhere, but you have to be sensitive to them. A merger opportunity can manifest itself as a customer, a competitor, or even a completely different business. Senior executives must have a broad understanding on what might be possible. There is no formal search process. Rather, it’s a sensitivity to recognizing and acting on opportunity should it present itself.
While on the subject, we recommend an excellent book on mergers: Mastering the Merger by Harding and Rovit.