Consumer Operation M&A Due Diligence & Separation

Consumer Operation M&A Due Diligence & Separation- Here are some key tips and insights we have gathered along the way, click the link to follow.

Consumer Operation M&A Due Diligence & Separation


In under 11 months, Searchlight Consulting led the M&A due diligence and subsequent separation of a consumer brand from a global consumer operation. Searchlight designed the separation approach and worked with the acquiring consumer organisation to integrate the business operation, enabling technology and migration of the supply chain business partner operation.


Key points:


  • Led the M&A IT Due Diligence and negotiation of a transfer services agreement (TSA)
  • Designed and led the separation programme, working with the acquiring consumer organisation
  • Expert support delivered for programme management, data migration, and business operational transition
  • Detailed migration strategy designed, outlining the replacement, consolidation, adoption, and decommissioning process
  • Minimal impact on customers achieved: outage window was carefully planned based on traffic periods, where the activities were planned on an hour-by-hour basis
  • Delivered 3 months ahead of schedule


Delivering a successful brand, supply chain, IT, and data migration in just 11 months


The Challenge

A consumer organisation reached out to Searchlight Consulting for support associated with M&A due diligence and the subsequent leading of the transition and integration of an acquired brand with the existing business operation.

Searchlight led the due diligence process, focusing on IT and business operating model, establishing a view of separation options, timeline, costs, and associated warranties. Post due diligence Searchlight were engaged to design and lead the separation process, which included programme governance, architecture as a service and data migration capabilities.

Searchlight was tasked with overseeing the migration of the acquired brand to the new business operating model. This was a multifaceted process as the brand was fully embedded within the seller groups business functions, enabled by shared applications, infrastructure, and supply chain. Managing the extraction of business data from the systems and applications had to take into consideration the intricate technical architecture, covering an extensive range of capabilities, digital platforms, technologies, and application models.

The technology and data workstream migrated the acquired brand onto existing business applications and new platforms, including an azure data lake, 3rd party solutions, and cloud finance and analytics platform, to enable the combined business to scale and grow further.

The business workstream, focused on delivering the new business operating model, including insourced and outsourced operations e.g., retaining a new 3PLP provider and expanding last mile logistics service provision for the combined operation.

Expert programme management support was needed to ensure that the two workstreams had a common understanding of the objectives of the change programme, as well as their specific role through the transition, and critically the challenging timeline to achieve the new business operating model.

A key concern going into this process was the impact on customers. Searchlight worked to minimise the impact to customers, not only through a rapid turnaround on the automation of the digital channels and migration of business-critical data, but also in the continuous communications to customers.


Searchlight’s Role

Searchlight’s core capabilities in programme management, due diligence, data migration and supply chain operational transition, ensured an expertly crafted programme plan. The overall migration programme operated within a Transitional Service Agreement (TSA), between the consumer organisations, to ensure the continued operation of the business and focus to accelerate the exit of the TSA for the end state combined business operation.


Due Diligence

An in-depth assessment of the technical architecture and third-party applications used across platforms was carried out to assure the business case, de-risk the programme and to inform commercial negotiations in the creation of the TSA. On agreeing the TSA, a governance framework was introduced to ensure effective communication between multiple parties.


Developing a Strategy

A separation strategy was designed, detailing the replacement, consolidation, adoption, and decommissioning process. Searchlight worked closely with the business, IT and data teams from all parties involved.


Minimising Impact on Customers

To minimise any risks to the operation of the business and to reduce any inconvenience to customers, the outage window was carefully planned based on customer demand periods and the activities were planned on an hour-by-hour basis. A complex and detailed plan was built up by every part of the business, facilitated by the Searchlight team and rehearsed in two dry-run exercises.


On-going Support

Searchlight supported the migration of physical inventory, as stock had to be moved to an outsourced warehouse. Support was also provided building a new digital channel and planning the communications to customers, to ensure changes were clearly outlined and understood by customers, making it a seamless transition.


What Searchlight achieved in just 11 months

Searchlight provided an end-to-end service, supporting the client in the successful migration of their acquired brand to form part of their existing consumer operation.

The separation was executed in just 11 months, three months ahead of schedule and on budget. While working at pace, Searchlight ensured quality and attention to detail was upheld throughout to enable a seamless transition with minimal impact on customers and to maintain, as far as possible, business as usual.

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    Searchlight are experts at aligning business and IT strategy, shaping business transformation programmes and helping our clients build business and IT capability throughout the transformation journey. Contact us today to find out how our independent advice could help you grow, develop new capabilities and future-proof your organisation.


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    Oliver CookConsumer Operation M&A Due Diligence & Separation