Should acquisitions only be managed by individuals with previous experience?

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CIO Strategic Advisor in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
Experience matters in the context of an acquisition. If you have a bunch of novices taking a company through an acquisition, you can expect a lot of hiccups and in the worst case scenario, the deal could fall apart. Finding ways to appropriately streamline your due diligence (DD) and integration processes is key because there are a couple ways that acquisitions can go right and a ton of ways that they can go wrong. Integration is a bigger problem on the back end because you can end up in situations where the deal was done 10 years ago and we still haven't integrated all of their systems, processes or teams. There are all of these downstream pieces that come into play, and it all centers around finding ways to efficiently manage the DD and integration processes.
Director of IT in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Not exclusively. It's usually a team consisting of individuals from various departments involved. While you need someone who has experience in acquisitions to steer the ship, not every team member that is indirectly involved in it should have previous experience. Its nice to have, but sometimes it is good to bring fresh hands onboard; you might get surprised by their approach and they might bring fresh ideas
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
At the top level it's required to have that experience.  The team members can have a mix of a lot of experience to minimal.  It is best though if everyone has at least experienced doing the tasks once either as the acquired or buyer.  And having both of those perspectives on the team is valuable.  You may be amazed what you can learn from the company you are acquiring.  They may be smaller than your current firm, but they may have been more nimble, innovative, etc and could bring a lot of new knowledge to the company.    If your company does serial acquisitions, it's best to have dedicated team members in every area, IT, HR, Finance, Legal, Accounting, etc.   It is probably the most complex project you can manage.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
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