M&A – International Oil Company and the 100 Day Post-Merger Integration
Author – Roy Mitropoulos
The deal involved the national integration of an autogas business into the fuels business of the number 2 player in the global market. The company had been so focused on divestments that it didn’t have an off the shelf merger integration process… Simple concepts are sometimes difficult to implement in a complex environment and when the people involved are looking for a complicated answer.
I started the process by interviewing business leaders to understand deal sources of value and integration goals. I then set up a matrix team, carefully selected from 10 separate departments to develop a cohesive and exhaustive plan. This allowed all stakeholders to contribute to the contractual and integration objectives and be responsible for delivery of the programme collectively. This collective responsibility for delivery gave the programme team the motivation to work together for the common objective.
I looked for common ground and the simplest answers in order to solve what were perceived as complex problems. The initial interviews not only gave me the tangible goals each stakeholder wanted, it gave me the intangible motivation behind each person, department and division. Compromise and shared values became much easier to identify.
I worked closely with the team to put together a vision document and a plan for :
Completing the transaction and getting us to Day 1
What we needed to get in place for Day 30
What we needed to have by Day 100
With these, initially, broad targets, I broke down the separate components to ensure that all stakeholders understood their part in the programme and how their efforts made an impact on the deadlines.
I set up an Integration Management Office to monitor delivery of the plan, and the capture (measurement) of benefits and set up governance with the senior leadership team (SLT). There was transparency across the board on both the buy and the sell sides and the SLT could see how the programme was progressing on a daily basis. Transparency meant that responsibility was shared and accountability became a team effort…in order to win, everyone had to win.
The transition was completed in 100 days after which the integration team disbanded and the project became “business as usual”. Alignment and clear planning and reporting were the keys to success. M&A projects are often very emotional for stakeholders, both on the buy and the sell side. Putting together this process allowed the plan to be clearly understood, gave confidence in the delivery and gave far greater visibility of benefit delivery.
All the programme objectives were met and the PMI Framework was documented to allow the same model to be adapted to my future PMI projects.