Live from the Annual Catalog Conference: The Art of the (Catalog) Deal

Boston–Here’s another reason to never assume: It can capsize a merger or acquisition.

That was one of the lessons attendees learned from this morning’s Executive Forum: “Two Dozen Mistakes You Should Never Make When Trying to Buy, Sell, Finance, or Value a Catalog or E-Commerce.”

In addition to making assumptions rather than researching and verifying data, overpaying for a company is another common mistake among acquirers, according to Bill Warrin, director of corporate development for Blair Corp. and a forum participant. So is underestimating the work required to integrate computer and financial systems.

“Transition planning is very important,” Warrin says. “If the first year is weak, it can ruin the acquisition for the buyer and ruin the credibility of the acquired company.”

“Buyers and seller interest are still there, but [a number of] deals aren’t getting done,” notes consultant Coy Clement of East Greenwich, RI-based ClementDirect and leader of the forum. “Buyers want stronger companies, and strong companies won’t accept depressed valuations. Companies with weak balance sheets are desperate, but then buyers have scant interest at any price.”

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