CIOs: Do you want to be involved in M&A negotiations? Why or why not?

2.3k views6 Comments

CIO in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees
100% !!!  In any merger/acquisition, there will be a mismatch in technologies between the companies (most probably) a difference in I.T. strategies and implementation, a different set of regulatory requirements to some degree, differing approaches to security, different toolsets, different Cloud implementation, etc.

The CIO and CISOs HAVE to be involved at a very early stage to prevent small problems turning into huge issues at a later stage.
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We had a dedicated team in Corporate IT that worked on the initial integration cost estimates to be included in the total acquisition costs.  IT may not need to be there on the initial merger discussion, but they absolutely need to be there before final offer cost is calculated.   If the company is very small, 100 employees, $10million and the acquiring company is $40 billion and 130k employees, the IT involvement is actually ZERO.  But as the size grows IT engagement comes earlier in the process.  When the acquisition has a strong IT component to the value, the IT team gets involved much more and usually has deep engagement from both Corporate IT, and Business IT teams.  
VP & Chief Architect, 10,001+ employees
Having been involved in a handful of due-diligence activities and M&A projects through my career, many times the underlying technology of the acquired organization can make or break the financials of a deal.  In many cases, how quickly the combined operational costs can be optimized through synergies is a very important outcome of M&A activity, and technology can represent a significant amount of total operational cost, and as a result, a large percentage of an efficiency opportunity.  

Additionally, if one of the desired outcomes of the merger or acquisition is reliant upon the state of the technology environment of the acquired firm, this makes participation in the due diligence phase critical for IT.  I have seen due diligence efforts that hinged upon the overall health of the technology estate of the target organization, and has been a singular reason to support a go/no-go decision.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
To the extent it were applicable to my business, absolutely. Ensuring / performing the due diligence and understanding how all the pieces may (or may not) fit is imperative for a CIO.
Exec. Director - AI Industrialization & Platforms in Software, 10,001+ employees
We have a dedicated team who looks into M&A deals. We help them in doing due diligence for AI/ML startups where our company wants to do investments. When it comes to big M&A deals, we review systems and architecture to ok integrate with existing systems. We execute the integration strategy after M&A is signed by both companies.
Chief Technology Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Absolutely! Why? Because the accountants and lawyers don’t understand IT.

I have received due diligence reports on potential acquisitions that said “They use MYOB” (basic accounting software) or similar as pretty much the entire content of the IT section.

Or, I have been told they have no phones and I ask how do they conduct business and they say “we will go back and ask” or many other things.

When I get involved I’ve uncovered unlicensed software, PABX commitments that were literally just signed, loads of mobile services that are unaccounted for, mobile services on incorrect plans, and various other contracts, problems, risks, staffing issues, and the like.

If the CIO is not involved you can be sure multitudes of technology issues will suddenly fall on your lap, that your business will have extra risks and obligations appearing, and so on.

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