Large, transformational transactions – such as strategic acquisitions – can create an incredible number of new opportunities for a company. But they also come with challenges. While an acquisition could help to diversify a company’s solution portfolio, open it up to new markets or help it to grow its footprint within existing markets, the process of integrating two difficult companies and corporate cultures can be delicate and force companies to make difficult decisions.
Guidehouse CEO, Scott McIntyre, talked all about the immense benefits and difficult challenges of transformational transactions in his recent presentation at ACG National Capital’s January monthly meeting. Having just spearheaded his company’s acquisition of Navigant Consulting, Mr. McIntyre was able to speak to the ACG membership and their guests in attendance from experience.
During his presentation, he laid out the myriad ways that Navigant’s global practice opened the door for Guidehouse to grow its business outside of the government contracting marketplace. With its established practices in a wide variety of commercial sectors, ranging from energy utilities to banking, the acquisition of Navigant delivered what Mr. McIntyre called, “adjacent commercial capabilities,” that gave the combined company synergies across services and wide avenues for new growth.
Interestingly enough, one of the largest opportunities for the combined company was originally viewed as a challenge and a roadblock to the acquisition – the new Guidehouse name, which was conceived less than a year prior to the acquisition to rebrand PricewaterhouseCoopers’s spun off public sector consultancy.
Guidehouse was, as Mr. McIntyre told ACG members and guests, a “brand spanking new brand” at the time of the Navigant acquisition, and because of that, was initially looked upon as “the biggest challenge” of the acquisition.
“This was definitely an issue,” Mr. McIntyre continued. “Navigant had a global presence; they had a 22-year track record of building prominence in the Navigant name with clients. Our Guidehouse name and brand was less than a year old and…[was] limited to the federal government.”
And yet, adopting the Guidehouse name across the legacy Navigant business proved to be a tremendous opportunity.
That’s because the company has been able to leverage the new name as a reason to go back and engage with prospective clients from the past decade, reintroduce themselves and show the advanced capabilities they had built that they didn’t necessarily have before.
The same applied to existing clients, as well. The acquisition was an opportunity to reengage existing customers, introduce them to the new Guidehouse brand and demonstrate their increased capabilities.
According to Mr. McIntyre this new brand functioned as a “trojan horse” that paved the way for business development opportunities. “We should rebrand every couple of years,” he exclaimed. “It’s an open door to have these conversations.”
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