For an afternoon session on the last day of the Summit, “Adding Value to the M&A Process at Microsoft” attracted and retained an impressive audience of more than 60 people. Interestingly, many of us at the session heard for the first time the timely news that Cisco is acquiring Starent Networks for $2.9 billion.
It’s clear that many corporate real estate executives are anticipating M&A activity at their companies. A show of hands revealed that less than a quarter of attendees had been deeply involved in an M&A transaction previously, and the same people, more or less, had playbooks for dealing with post-merger integration.
Despite Cisco’s news, it was Microsoft’s show, and post-merger integration was its theme song. “Workplace integration is a hugely symbolic milestone in the business and cultural integration of an acquired company,” said Barney Kinzer of Microsoft. “Day One impact can have a lasting value to the enterprise.”
At Microsoft, real estate has a seat at the M&A table, something that many corporate real estate executives in the past have coveted but few have received. If more firms learn the lesson that Microsoft clearly knows, it will be an important step toward ensuring successful integration activities in the future.