Jeremy Evans, Former Head of Commercial & Legal, Northgate Information Solutions, UK
Imagine a situation where your Group, over a two to three year period, has expanded rapidly through a mixture of acquisitions and organic growth; where, as each acquisition is completed, the acquired business is partially integrated into the Group in terms of management structures and finance/accounting processes and systems; but where the trading entity/entities within the acquired business continue to trade on an 'as is' basis. Consequently, the Group's corporate structure tends to become rather extended and complex. For, you find that you have a Group with multiple trading entities, often competing for the same space and for the same customers; and with a series of dormant holding companies and other non-trading entities that come 'as extras' with the acquired business.
To those of you involved in M&A activity, the above will doubtless sound familiar. The question is, how can these complex structures be simplified and how, in effect, do you complete the partially executed integration, some months (possibly even a few years) after the actual acquisition?
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