Acquired

Episode 18: Special—An Acquirer’s View into M&A with Taylor Barada, head of Corp Dev at Adobe

August 22, 2016
63 min

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Ben & David are joined by special guest Taylor Barada, VP and Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at Adobe, to discuss how large tech acquirers approach buying companies. This episode is full of great insights for startups & entrepreneurs who might find themselves navigating the M&A process, as well as anyone curious about the craft of dealmaking and the strategic approach of large acquirers. 
 
Topics covered include:
  • How conversations begin between startups and acquirers
  • The importance of building a relationship with acquirers over time and "investing in lines, not dots” (just like raising VC)
  • The often under-appreciated role of culture fit between acquirers and acquisition targets 
  • How entrepreneurs should evaluate acquirers throughout the M&A process 
  • Two examples of successful acquisitions Taylor completed at Yahoo in Citizen Sports and IntoNow
  • The M&A process at large technology acquirers, from initial conversations to LOI, due diligence and the definitive merger agreement 
  • The relative roles of Corp Dev, business/product owners and executive sponsors in the M&A process
  • Common mistakes startups (and VC’s) often make in the M&A process
  • Different “categories” of M&A that acquirers think about, and the relative risks & opportunities of “core" acquisitions vs transformative new businesses 
  • What percentage of deals Adobe looks at actually happen, and the importance of being willing to say no
  • M&A as a tool for strategy, and the different M&A cultures & approaches at different companies 
  • Tech themes Taylor and Adobe think about as part of their M&A strategy
  • Evaluating the longterm success of deals and the importance of the M&A integration function 
 
Followups:
 
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