You Bought It; Now Don’t Mess It Up! A Guide to Improving the Post-Acquisition Integration Process

Sarah Schwartz, Senior Legal Counsel, Mergers and Acquisitions, Amadeus

This paper reviews certain complexities related to the post-acquisition integration process, focusing on the legal corporate function and other departments dedicated to risk prevention. Study after study has shown that most M&A projects fail to achieve the synergies projected in the original business case. However, studies demonstrate that a proper integration program can maximize value for the purchaser. This paper provides a systematic breakdown of the primary risks and pitfalls when setting up an integration program for the legal corporate function. The critical questions that it attempts to answer are (i) within an integration program, what critical components reduce or otherwise mitigate risk and (ii) how can the legal team assist the business team in creating value from a newly acquired company? The author’s goal is to assist in-house attorneys to effectively counsel the business teams after a M&A deal has completed, thereby reducing risk and maximizing the economic returns projected from an acquisition.

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Mergers & Acquisition Leisure March 2020 Vol.13, No. 50, Winter 2020

Sarah Schwartz


Sarah J. Schwartz is an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois, USA and Spain. She has practiced law since 2006 in the USA and in Spain and is currently employed by Amadeus IT Group, S.A. as Senior Legal Counsel, Merger & Acquisitions. At Amadeus, Ms. Schwartz provides legal and strategic advice and oversight on M&A deals, venture capital investments, integration of acquired businesses, corporate governance, and other strategic projects. Her deal experience involves cross-border work throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Prior to Amadeus, she developed her career in the Mergers & Acquisitions departments within the Madrid office of Baker McKenzie and the Chicago office of McGuireWoods LLP. Ms. Schwartz obtained her law degree from the University of Illinois, College of Law in 2006, and she obtained her Spanish legal degree through the homologación process with the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Universidad Nacional a Distancia in 2010. Before law school, she obtained a Master of Arts degree in Spanish Literature and Language from Middlebury College after studying abroad for one year in Madrid and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

Mergers & Acquisition Leisure March 2020 Vol.13, No. 50, Winter 2020