Successful and highly efficient carve-out
Leading industrial manufacturing company using smartmerger.com M&A platform
The largest carve-out in our customer’s history was the spin-off of its energy-related businesses. The NewCo, which includes all former divisions involved in the generation, distribution, control and handling of energy, successfully became a public company. Getting there was a major challenge. Given the size and complexity of the carve-out, implementing the smartmerger.com platform played a crucial role and enabled enormous efficiency gains.
Approximately 90,000 employees working in hundreds of offices in 80 different countries around the world were involved. "Setting up the entire carve-out project was a major challenge," reports the IT Project & Program Manager in charge of deploying smartmerger.com. "We had to set up a project structure, coordinate the team, organize communication and coordination with the internal customer, initiate the ramp-up of the project and manage the rollout of the application to many countries." The project was far more difficult than previous carve-outs due to its enormous complexity.
This carve-out project was nothing like previous projects I had been involved in. It was very extensive, complex and initially volatile because there were so many international units to consider. The time pressure was extreme.
For years, our customer has been using the smartmerger.com M&A platform in its restructuring efforts. In the case of this carve-out, smartmerger.com was asked to configure and customize the M&A platform for the specific project requirements.
The carve-out project was subdivided into 19 subject-specific workstreams (e.g. HR, Intellectual Property, IT, Customs, Treasury, etc.). Each workstream had to collect the most current asset data in each of the 80 countries. Since every countries had several accounting areas, this resulted in a total of more than 400 units requiring baselining. In addition, detailed separation roadmaps and to-do lists for each workstream had to be created. The resulting master plan included project management functionality to track status and progress in real time. A traffic light system, which included automatic logic and plausibility checks, provided an early warning system for potential schedule conflicts.
In total, more than 6,000 users worked with the smartmerger.com M&A platform during the project, of which only 200-300 were experienced M&A project staff. For the less experienced users, smartmerger.com provided step-by-step guidance. Since it was logistically impossible to manage the baselining process in a single pass, the overall scope was split into five portions, each covering 15-17 countries.
The required customization of the application, including workshops with the internal customer's workstream teams, was completed within a week. The functionality did not require any additions; only the configuration had to be adapted to the very specific requirements of the project.
The company was able to benefit from the high performance and agility of the smartmerger.com M&A platform and the comprehensive know-how it incorporates. The project data volume processed was equivalent to approximately 1.2 million Excel lines. In the course of the baselining process, 24 million data records were collected. "The scope of the project itself attests to the stability and scalability of the software," comments the Head of Service Line M&A. "A project of these dimensions is not something you can handle without the right tool!"
The smartmerger.com team managed the technical side of the application and I got tremendous support from them for the technical configuration. And during the coordination meetings with our stakeholders, the satisfaction with the application and its stability was repeatedly confirmed.
As a 'single source of truth' for all participants, the platform avoids conflicts between different file versions. This has drastically reduced coordination times. At the same time, data quality was increased thanks to the built-in logic checks. "The most important lever for the project's success was that smartmerger.com gave the project the necessary structure to which all participants had to adhere," says the IT Project & Program Manager. "Without this structure and the frequent lessons-learned workshops, we would not have been able to implement the project at this speed and with the available personnel." The Head of Service Line M&A confirms: "By using the smartmerger.com M&A platform, we were able to achieve an efficiency increase of at least 30 percent in this carve-out project, probably even more."
Technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare.