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Merger Integration – Pharma’s True Bellwether of Success?

M&A continues to be a critical tool for growth in the pharmaceutical industry but the last several years has seen deals with increasingly diminishing returns. In an industry where the cost of M&A is growing, poor returns on your investment are now even more detrimental to long-term success. As an IT consulting firm with more than 25 years of experience helping life sciences companies with their mergers and divestitures, we have identified four strategies for a successful merger integration.

It’s easy to point to the potential causes of low ROI – inflated valuation, poor due diligence, cultural issues – but with deals this immense and complex, a root-cause analysis can be nebulous at best. Having worked alongside our clients to manage some of the most successful mergers and acquisitions in the industry’s history, we engage each M&A project with the same mindset – control what you can, prepare for what you can’t. That is to say, optimize the foundational aspects of your business to best prepare you for the ad hoc challenges that come with M&A. Needless to say, IT is a foundational area that will be integral to successful merger integration.

In fact, according to research firm Gartner, IT resources are involved in 25% of total integration efforts during M&A. Alone, that stat is astounding but that’s not all – more than half of all synergy-relevant integrations activities are strongly dependent on IT. One department. Billions potentially at stake. No pressure?

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Four Strategies for Successful IT Merger Integration

Over the course of Clarkston Consulting’s 25 years, we’ve been the primary IT consulting firm involved in M&A deals of nearly every shape and size and at nearly every juncture of the process. We’ve seen firsthand the mission-critical role that IT plays through the lifecycle of the deal and beyond.

Leveraging those experiences, coupled with our institutional focus on the life sciences industry and leading track record in IT and enterprise technology, we’ve identified the most impactful strategies for ensuring successful IT merger integration. In conjunction with standard M&A activities, such as a post-merger integration checklist, these strategies mitigate the risk of failed merger integration for IT.

The four strategies have been developed to speak directly to the unique circumstances and challenges of IT integration during M&A in the pharmaceutical industry. The strategies cover the most essential elements of infrastructure, inventory, nomenclature, executive support, and more. Download the full PDF to learn more.

Experienced IT Consulting Firm

If you have any questions about IT integration during M&A, developing a post-merger integration plan, or Clarkston’s merger integration experience, please contact me at

Tags: M&A Integration, M&A Integration Planning, SAP, Services