Portsmouth Business School

Past Hot Topics

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Date: 10 February 2016
  • Time: 5.30pm
  • Venue: Richmond Building

This session looked at current trends across mergers and acquisitions, and managing such change within a business. 

Helen O'Kane, Director, Corporate Finance at BDO has successfully transacted on behalf of private shareholders, private equity houses and corporates, as well as advising on management buy-outs and management buy-ins.  Helen has broad sector experience, and has worked on deals ranging in value from under £1m to over £5 billion; with a current focus set firmly on the small and medium sized growing businesses based around the South Coast.

Helen joined BDO’s M&A team in 2003.  Previously Helen worked at Schroders Investment Banking, advising mainly public companies on acquisitions and disposals, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in London.  Helen has a Geography degree from Cambridge University.  

Helen covered an overview of current M&A trends – in terms of the following;

  • M&A activity - bulls or bears?
  • Review of current M&A activity across the UK market, considering
  • What are the key drivers of M&A?
    Who are the acquirors?
    Why are businesses selling?
    Where is funding coming from? – banks / private equity / corporates etc
    What are the “hot” sectors?
    What is driving current valuations?
    How important / what is the influence of international?
  • Acquirors – benefits / pitfalls of acquisitions
    How can you drive value from acquisitions?
    What are the pitfalls?

Dr Alan Tait currently lectures in the areas of strategic management, knowledge management, and future studies having previously taught in the areas of information management, entrepreneurship and business research methods.

His engagement with business has ranged from evaluating the knowledge management approach of a Scottish economic development agency to conducting market research for a Scottish walking festival. In the future, Alan hopes to engage with local and international businesses on areas such as the identification of synergy opportunities and the unearthing of assumptions behind synergy management initiatives.

Alan will focussed on the dynamic aspects of managing synergy within M&A and covered the following: 
  • The importance of synergy as a key strategic imperative in M&A
  • The predominantly static approach to synergy management within M&A
  • The importance of managing synergy over time in M&A
  • The importance of timing in managing synergy
  • The value of speed in managing synergy
  • The role of frequency in managing synergy
  • The impact of experience in managing synergy
  • The impact of learning in managing synergy
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