The First Thing to Ask a Potential Acquisition Target

By Tom Cobery
In February 2, 2015

In the next few months I am going to look at certain issues that an acquiring company needs to address when considering a potential acquisition target.

The first request to make of the target company is, “Tell me about your market.” From the outset, you want to know whether your potential acquisition target has something you want, such as an existing customer base separate from your own, technical capabilities you don’t have, or enough business to increase your economies of scale.

Sometimes it’s more economical to acquire a company in a business area you want to get into than to try to get into that area yourself, especially if your target company has the trained people, technology, and customers already in place.

One way to determine how well an acquisition target is really doing in its market is to survey its existing customer base. Don’t just pick up the phone and start calling people. The targeted company would not appreciate that approach. Instead, consider having the acquisition target do a formal survey of its customer base.

This is just a starting point. More issues to address and questions to consider will be discussed in the coming months. Meanwhile, if you want to chat, give me a call at (201) 523-6326 or email me at

Tom Cobery

Dealing with the day-to-day needs of running a busy printing operation often leaves company leaders little time to plan for the future of their enterprises on their own. Tom works with chief executive officers and senior management executives in the Tag and Label Industry to develop growth opportunities through strategic transactions, new markets, or new service opportunities. Available for consulting on individual projects, he can also be engaged to serve as an Advisory Partner, helping executives guide their company into the future, serving as an impartial sounding board for ideas, and working with them to set the right course for continued growth and greater profitability. Tom’s personal experience as a Tag and Label Industry company president and chief executive officer, plus his extensive networking with other industry executives through his volunteer leadership activities with the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) give him a unique perspective on the tough issues today’s company leaders face in this specialized segment. Companies engaging Tom will find his insight and independent advice an invaluable asset in helping them achieve their growth and profitability goals. More than a consultant, Tom Cobery wants to be your trusted Advisory Partner.

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