Mergers & Acquisitions


M&A is in our DNA

Bain has partnered with clients for 40 years on more than 10,000 M&A-related projects. Nearly half our strategy projects involve M&A, and our merger integration clients realize around 18% more share¬holder value than typical mergers. Our work includes every major step in M&A—strategy, defining your deal theses, candidate screening, due diligence, merger integration, divestitures and spin-offs—across geographies, sectors and transaction types.

In short, we make sure you get the highest returns from your acquisition and help you build your M&A muscles so that you are positioned to make M&A a successful part of your long-term growth strategy.

The Bain advantage

  • Unmatched private equity expertise. Corporate acquirers that turn to Bain benefit from the expertise we’ve built as the leading adviser to private equity firms. Bain pioneered private equity consulting, and we are, by far, the top consultancy to US, European and Asian buyout funds.
  • Thought leadership. Bain’s experts are cutting-edge thinkers on M&A strategy and execution. We’ve written groundbreaking works on growth strategy and the role of M&A, and our latest insights are regularly published in leading business journals.
  • Digital strategy. Digital disruption affects M&A as well, from sky-high deal prices to tricky due diligence. Bain’s approach, Bain Radar 360SM, helps you cut through the hype to build a pragmatic digital strategy and an M&A plan that supports it.
  • Corporate finance prowess. We have extensive capabilities in all aspects of corporate finance to help you build the right portfolio, reassess your hurdle rates, and manage transactions efficiently and effectively.
  • Wealth of knowledge. We support your M&A efforts with knowledge based on decades of surveys, benchmarks, in-depth analyses and case studies stored in proprietary databases.
  • Synergy delivery. One of the top reasons that deals disappoint is overestimated synergies. We help leading companies use M&A as a catalyst for bolder change to deliver higher-than-projected synergies.
  • Repeatability. Successful acquirers develop a systematic and rigorous deal-making process. We call it repeatability, and it’s fundamental to our thinking—both on M&A and growth more broadly.
  • Working with Bain can help improve your odds of winning in M&A. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure you have the M&A strategy and capabilities to support your growth ambition.

Bain Radar 360SM is a service mark of Bain & Company, Inc.

Our approach

Based on our analysis and years of experience—including more than 10,000 M&A-related projects across a wide range of industries and geographies—our mergers and acquisitions experts believe that the key to successful M&A is a repeatable model; one that companies can return to over and over again to reap substantial rewards.

M&A strategy

Make M&A an extension of your growth strategy

  • Clear logic to identify targets
  • Clarity on how M&A strategy will create value

Deal thesis

Mobilize in a focused fashion to capture high priority sources of value

  • Nail the short list of critical actions you have to get right
  • Execute the long list of integration tasks stringently

Diligence and valuation

Require clarity on how each deal creates value

  • Apply or leverage capabilities to add value to the target
  • Expand capabilities or fill capability gaps to create opportunities you didn't have

Merger integration planning

Know what you really need to integrate (and what not to)

  • Articulate value creation roadmap
  • Plan to integrate where it matters

Merger integration execution

Test the deal thesis vs. conventional wisdom - set a walk-away price

  • Justify the winning bid
  • Determine where you can add value

The virtuous cycle for M&A begins by building a strong M&A capability that forms the foundation for the success of the model's five key steps:

  • Corporate strategy and acquisition strategy: Develop a clearly articulated strategy and an M&A plan that reinforces that strategy. Strategy is Bain & Company's heritage; with more than 40 years of experience helping companies develop time-tested strategies, we understand the types of deals that create value and those that don't.
  • Deal thesis: Invest with a thesis. Successful deals are guided by a meaningful deal thesis that is tied to a firm's growth strategy and that spells out how the deal will add value both to the target and acquiring company.
  • Strategic due diligence: Ask and answer the big questions. The best acquirers investigate targets with a nose for what's really important, identifying the key sources of ongoing value and sniffing out any "perfumed pigs" buffed up for sale. A frequent acquirer knows exactly where it can add value and is therefore able to set its own price—and to walk away if the price isn't right.
  • Merger integration planning: Integrate where it matters. No two integrations are the same, and companies must carefully consider aspects from culture to IT in order to realize the full value of the deal.
  • Merger integration execution: Nail the short list of critical actions. Merging two companies requires rigorous follow-through on a long list of integration tasks, large and small. Doing both is hard. Part of the answer lies in a few, powerful guiding principles: tailor the integration thesis to the deal thesis; integrate where it matters; and act with deliberate speed.

Bain's mergers and acquisitions consultants help companies build and execute on their own repeatable models for M&A. We also apply our expertise to guide companies and management teams that are deciding where to grow and shed through joint ventures and alliances or divestitures and separations.

Our work is continually informed by the latest M&A analyses and insights which ensure that our teams and clients have access to information and conclusions about how the best acquirers succeed.

Our team

We work as an integrated part of your team, from frontline to C-suite, to deliver true results and make the changes stick. We have a core group of senior M&A focused experts that we deploy across the globe.

Our team