Corporate Development — boosting growth and valuation by planning and executing acquisitions, joint ventures, or carve-outs — is central to the work of most strategists; my track record was no exception. Over decades of solid track record in planning and driving M&A transactions, as a consultant and strategy executive, I developed a rich and nuanced experience in corporate development and portfolio strategy — especially in identifying growth opportunities in new and emerging markets.
While a consultant with Booz Allen, I helped Fortune Global 100 clients in the US, Europe, and Latin America to capture dramatic gains in growth, profitability, and market valuation through mergers/acquisitions/alliances; in particular, as the global aerospace industry was in the midst of unprecedented consolidation, we worked with most industry players to plan and execute a variety of significant transactions. An article which I co-authored during that period captured some important from lessons that deal-rich environment; another discussed the concept of capabilities-based expansion.
Partly based on my core competency work, I was later hired by Applied Materials‘s visionary Chairman and CEO, Jim Morgan, to plan the Company’s strategic expansion into new areas which could leverage its core competencies. During my subsequent years with Applied, the Company expanded its served market through a series of organic and inorganic initiatives, based on a series of strategic investments; those were aimed at entering new markets (e.g., metrology, software, clean energy), establishing position through JV (e.g., lithography, flat panel displays, coating/track), or strengthening position in served segments (e.g., CMP, fab services).
Later, in my own consulting firm, I gained exposure to the small company/sell-side perspective of the transaction. As a mentor and consultant, I worked with clean tech innovators in renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced materials, and water technologies to secure funding for new opportunities.
Today, as an M&A transaction integration consultant with EY, I work with major technology companies to rapidly implement complex deals, allowing clients to capture the greatest return on their investments. Below are representative examples of my experience across the corporate development spectrum:
- Mapped entire electronics industry for a leading aerospace supplier to focus on 6 key areas for commercialization of technical core competencies
- Mapped, evaluated, and prioritized new market opportunities to leverage Company’s core competencies
- Worked closely with senior executives to redefine corporate vision, mission, and objectives to expand beyond core business
- Executed competitive war game to simulate industry consolidation scenarios
- Developed alternate M&A roadmaps for expansion into new segment
- Sized strategic investment level to sustain long-term growth through business cycles
- Accelerated M&A deal flow to expand served market : Implemented process for systematic identification and prioritization of M&A opportunities
- Prioritized corporate investment portfolio through an analytical planning system and close engagement with business unit leaders
- Consolidated product roadmaps and reallocated R&D funds to ensure robust product pipeline
- Planned and executed consolidated planning process to align budgets and free up resources for strategic investments
- Ran deal proposals through strategic, financial and operational screens, as well as overall portfolio (risk) fit
- Ran due diligence and integration planning for aerospace industry cross-border transaction, working with US and European team members to address key financial, contractual, and operational risk factors
- Developed and implemented valuation models for divisional acquisitions and tuck-ins
- Supported negotiation of key deals with customers, involving critical decisions relating to pricing and IP of new generation of products
- For due diligence of a key consolidation play, evaluated operational, engineering, account access, and product positioning implications
- Executed sell-side due diligence support in a renewable energy corporate acquisition
- Evaluated global partnering options for an industrial manufacturer – aimed at establishing foreign exchange and operational hedge
- Worked on operating model, synergy targets, organizational alignment, engineering roadmap and marketing/branding guidelines for several US-Japan joint ventures
- Set up multinational (US/Europe/Mexico/Brazil) JV to ensure supply of key component
- Negotiated 4-party agreement for joint marketing of automation technology
- Supported JV Management Office (financial planning and operations) in a three-party cross-border entity set to commercialize a breakthrough production technology
- Supported planning commercial terms and exit strategy for network of suppliers lined up to ensure supply of key consumable
- Led integration work for operating model, product strategy, and marketing in 3-party transaction in new segment and geography
- Led Integration Management Office for an $8.5-billion acquisition of a global software/telecom provider by a Fortune 50 software company; overseeing integration programs in finance, IT, HR, engineering, and sales & marketing and developing detailed blueprints for setting up the new organization
- Led integration of an industrial service business acquisition, revising go-to-market strategy and consolidating regional footprint and product lines
- Led the Integration Management Office for $2-billion acquisition of a precision equipment supplier with more than 1,000 employees; led a large team of subject matter professionals from finance, HR, legal, IT, operations, engineering, sales and marketing
- Drove integration of distinct engineering groups following series of acquisitions
- Established integration metrics/playbook and coached teams for subsequent transactions
- Recent publications on R&D challenges during technology sector M&A deals:
- Helped a Fortune 30 defense industry client reject a hostile takeover bid by carving-out underperforming assets, based on reprioritization of internal business portfolio
- Advised several successful sell-side deals in the clean tech space
- Advised clean energy start-up in sequencing liquidity events
- Planned and negotiated transaction for commercializing a key technology through a strategic partner; involved phased TSAs with performance-based exit points
Corporate Development, of course, requires solid modeling and analysis – which I’ve used extensively over the years. With strong interest from my Stanford University‘s students, I recently developed a class on business and investment valuation.