How do we know we are up to this stage?
By this point, you should have completed your preparation and be ready to start searching in earnest for a prospective merger partner. You will know you are ready when key stakeholders in your organisation are advocating change, and are open to exploring opportunities with other organisations. You have a clear vision and mission which key members are able to pitch. Your board agrees that pursuing a merger aligns with your mission given your self-assessed position. Finally, you have communicated the approach and relevant self-assessment information to senior staff. You are ready to find a suitable partner and begin negotiations.
Many NFPs are interested in pursuing merger opportunities, but few are confident in their ability to broach the subject with potential merger partners and to effectively manage the negotiation of a merger agreement. You may also feel daunted by the scale of change required by a merger, and the disruption to existing ways of working within your organisation.
The negotiation stage of the merger journey can be very challenging and requires careful planning, discretion, deft stakeholder relationship management, and willingness to hold some potentially challenging conversations in a constructive way.
During the negotiation stage you will need to:
- Confirm non-negotiables so that you understand where you are and are not willing to compromise
- Make first contact with prospective merger partners
- Establish ground rules for how interactions to explore merger opportunities will occur with your potential partner
- Conduct due diligence of your potential partner’s organisation
- Finalise a merger agreement between your two organisations.
Please feel free to leave questions or comments on this part of the merger toolkit.