In his keynote, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Feix, Professor for M&A, Corporate Finance and Strategy in Augsburg, Munich, Harvard and Geneva, focused on End-to-End M&A Process Design for the 21st century and the challenges and levers of digitalization and business model innovation.
Prof. Feix identified that new business designs and players, especially platform builders, on the market are unified by the fact that they all do not actually own the assets their business model is based upon, be it mobility, digital business designs, the accommodation industry, retail, communication providers or even the Fintech sector.
This development of the M&A market requires concentrating on its true driver: Innovation. When comparing M&A volumes to their indicative deal premia, two market sectors are specifically interesting: Digital business designs and the amazonisation of the industry in total. They challenge traditional market and players, especially industry incumbents. The technological impact disrupting the M&A market prevails most severely in the media, automotive, fintech and pharma sectors.
Prof. Feix’s team, when researching whether surplus acquisitions of media companies pay out, came to the remarkable conclusion that while target shareholders always gain, acquirer’s shareholders are nowadays more open-minded, and this although deals still remain equally disruptive and risky.
The solution is hence a robust End-to-End M&A Process Design in order to conquer disruption by digitalization: Starting off with an indepth understanding of the industry’s ecosystem (M&Astrategy analysis), investors need to not only boost excellent transaction and integration management, but also—and these elements are key—synergy and project management. The big advantage of this five-step model is its distinct end-to-end design, responding adequately to the needs of new business models, and making it possible to crosscheck early the investment thesis with due diligence outcomes.
When looking at core and adjacent growth options, the model compares M&A with alternative growth and value options, like joint ventures, incubators, accelerators, alliances or inhouse business model innovation approaches.
Prof. Feix concluded his keynote with a positive outlook into the future, stressing his certainty that academia and consulting will be equally ready to deal with these new challenges of investment strategies in the 21st century.
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Feix,