HOW TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE FOR MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS (WITH FREE TEMPLATE!)

BUSINESS

CONTENTS

17 min read

Mergers and Acquisitions aren’t an everyday occurrence. Unless you work for a mega corporation, absorbing competitors right left and centre, mergers and acquisitions typically won’t be your day to day!

If you’re preparing for a merger, or your company is about to acquire another company, odds are you want to make a splash- it’s pretty big news after all!

Press release for mergers and acquisitions are vital to ensure maximum brand exposure.

This becomes especially important if the merger is accompanied by a rebrand or brand refresh.

So… what does a mergers and acquisitions press release actually look like?

What should be included in a press release?

Let’s find out.

What are the different types of Mergers and Acquisitions?

Here we’re going to look at the most common types of mergers and acquisitions. The most common types of mergers and acquisitions are:

  • Horizontal merger
  • Vertical merger
  • Congeneric mergers
  • Market extension merger
  • Conglomeration
  • Value creating
  • Consolidating
  • Accelerating
  • Resource acquiring
  • Speculating

Horizontal Merger

A horizontal merger is where two companies who share an industry merge to gain a larger market share.

Vertical Merger

This is where two companies who produce different products in the same supply chain merge in unison to increase efficiency.

Congeneric Mergers

Congeneric mergers apply to two companies in related industries that come together despite creating completely different products.

Market extension merger

A market extension merger is where two companies operating in the same industry but in separate markets merge to appeal to a larger client base.

Conglomeration

Otherwise known as a conglomerate merger, conglomeration is when two companies with nothing in common merge to reduce risk and/or share assets.

Value creating

A common acquisition where one company will purchase another, make it better and then sell it for a decently-sized profit.

Consolidating

Consolidating is where one company buys a competitor in order to remove it from a busy market.

Accelerating

This acquisition is where a big company buys a smaller company to take its resources and accelerate its growth thanks to its business wherewithal.

Resource acquiring

Resource acquiring is the act of purchasing other companies in order to gain valuable resources (i.e. technologies, skills, market position) versus developing one’s own.

Speculating

This acquisition is when a small business selling a new product/service is bought by a much larger business as it has growth potential.

And they are all of the major types of merger and acquisitions! So, now you have an understanding of what merger or acquisition you might be writing about , let’s consider who you are writing it for.

Who are you writing for?

Ok so, just for a bit of clarity, let’s define our audience.

Obviously, your press release is for ‘the press’.

This is pretty broad spec, so step one is identifying who within ‘the press’ we’re directly targeting. Sending releases to faceless, impersonal, corporate addresses is an unfortunate part of the job, but a necessary evil. What is key is remembering the human behind the screen, and writing for them.

So, like with every piece of marketing collateral and outreach that you put out, let’s figure out what your audience want, and then give it to them.

You should build a customer persona for media outlet chiefs, editors, and media managers for your own specific sector or business because it will 100% help inform your press release creation… but you can use the one below for now if it suits your needs.

persona build

The Persona

William Walsh is a 33 year old Press and Communications Manager at a major business magazine publisher.

William has worked in similar roles across several different industries over the past 5 years, but is fairly settled in his current role and can see it developing into a long term career. He considers himself a ‘doer’ and likes to have lots of work to keep him busy. He takes pride in making his bosses lives as easy as possible, and acts as the liaison between the editorial team (including the editor in chief) and the outside world.

William has a long term partner and older family members who live locally to him. He regularly visits his family, helping out with housework and more physically demanding or consuming tasks. Outside of his familial commitments, William’s social network is built almost exclusively from work colleagues and people he attended university with. They gather twice a month and go to a highly rated pub quiz, and spend a lot of time socialising online through video games.

William is happy in his role, but sometimes envies the editorial team’s power to make decisions on what is included and what is discarded when it comes to content for the business magazine. He would like to be more involved in decision making processes, and has been looking for ways to streamline his own work processes to free up time for more editorial activities.

And there you have it- one of your core audiences defined… so, how do you write for William? How do you make it as likely as possible for your press release to be included in their publication?

The trick is simple.

All you have to do is make a press manager’s job as easy as possible.

Figuring out what your William Walsh wants is a good way to achieve your own goals.

So…

people sitting on a chair in front of a laptop

What does a press manager want from an M&A press release?

Speaking bluntly, all anyone wants- press release manager, journalist, editor, or anyone in the media- is efficiency. They have 13498 things on their to do list at any one given time, and need a mergers and acquisitions press release to give them all of the details they need in an easily digestible fashion. The structure of your press release should allow enough space for editorial and creative freedom, but also be detailed enough to simply copy, paste and publish.

A breakdown of the key information is great.

A well written and cohesive piece of prose around the merger/acquisition is better.

A fully formed, useable and customisable news story is typically best.

Here’s what to include in your M&A press release.

A Headline

Create something eye catching and interesting here. This is your ‘best foot forward’ moment. Corporate news, especially acquisitions, can be a little bit dry and often should be- that’s what is most appropriate for the audience, after all! Headlines can break out of that mould a little bit, adding a bit of flair to the story, so don’t be afraid to push the boat out creatively here.

Just don’t go totally over the top- gauging your tone and introducing the story appropriately is key.

From a stylistic point of view, around 75-100 characters tends to be best, with the really important stuff at the start and end of the headline. Think tweetable, consumable, and interesting, but without much detail- it’s an invitation into the article, not the article itself!

“Storiporium merge with Naratill bookshops chain in £123 million merger of UK booksellers”

is far better and more appropriate than:

“Goliath eats David as book moguls Storiporium swallows up indie bookshop chain Naratill in £123 million merger, shocking the book world”

but…

“Controversial merger between Storiporium and Naratill completes after fee is agreed”

is far more inviting to any potential reader.

Why was it controversial? What was the fee?

Of course, calling the merger controversial might not be the angle you want to take if you work for Storiporium.

Remember, controlling the narrative in your favour is vital to any press release. If you don’t want to present something as controversial, maybe lean into ‘long awaited’ or ‘industry defining’.

So, for the sake of our example, the headline would read:

Long awaited merger between Storiporium and Naratill completes after fee is agreed.

Not bad!

This example cuts out all of the unnecessary descriptors, fluff and clickbait-y stuff (shocking the book world, swallows up etc.) and gets straight to the point.

So what comes next in a press release for acquisitions and mergers?

A Sub-header

This is just a punchy one liner that sums up why anyone should care about this deal, and what makes it interesting from a news perspective rather than just a bland corporate event that won’t effect anyone at all. Make it interesting! This deal happened for a reason, explain that reason here- but do so very concisely.

business man wearing a navy suit

Details of the companies involved

After the sub header, it’s time to introduce your key players in the acquisition. Unless there was an instrumental individual- like for example your CEO had/has a personal connection to the acquired or merged company- it’s more typical to introduce the key players as the companies involved rather than the individual. For this part of the press release, think of the companies as individuals.

Consider the following:

  1. What is the power dynamic between the two companies?
  2. Is one company significantly bigger than the other? Are both companies roughly the same size? Has a small company taken on a bigger companies responsibilities and risk? Power dynamics and relative size are one of the more interesting aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

  3. What does each company do?
  4. What are the prototypical roles of each company in the industry? Is one a distributor, whilst the other is more of a wholesaler? This is just introductory, so no huge amount of detail is necessary- probably just devote one line to this, unless the role or industry is particularly technical or complex. Other professionals in your industry are the most likely to be reading news like this, so write this as if speaking to a professional connection. You don’t need to explain common use jargon, but don’t lean to heavily into it either.

  5. What each company gains from the merger
  6. This is a bit more meaty, as it gets down to the reasons behind the deal, and so can be developed with more detail. Keep it concise, but here is where you can explain the deal and the reasons behind the deal. There are several reasons for a merger, and the resulting corporate entity is generally greater than the sum of it’s parts- consider that when writing for this section, as it will be core to controlling the narrative surrounding your merger.

  7. Any other interesting details on the companies
  8. This is more of a personality development than anything else. Has the company merged before? Are the companies financials in good order? Has the merger saved one or both companies from looming trouble? Don’t be speculative here, but anything that can add a little bit of interest to the story and punch it up a bit- as well as developing the brand presence within the story- is always good.

Whilst the above looks quite information heavy, that’s only because it’s explaining what should be included. In reality, the above section will look something like this:

Storiporium, powerhouse of the bookselling industry, have finalised a merger deal with the significantly smaller cutting edge digital storytelling platform Naratill. This merger gives Storiporium access to an online readership, and gives industry disruptor Naratill the financial positioning to compete in the space with larger, more established organisations. Whilst this is the first merger for fiercely independent Naratill, for Storiporium this is an established growth tactic- they’ve acquired or merged with several businesses over the last decade, including national bookshop chain Hague and Sons.

Details of the deal

Once you’ve introduced the companies involved in the deal, it’s time to introduce the deal itself. For that, you have to consider what type of merger or acquisition the deal was, and how you want to position that in the press. In our example, the Storiporium and Naratill merger would be considered a concentric merger because they serve very similar customers with different products- Naratill serves a digital product, whereas Storiporium serves physical products.

So in our example, it would be phrased something like this:

A concentric merger, Storiporium gains access to Naratill’s built-in digital audience and Naratill gains greater reach into the physical book market. The deal is thought to be worth £123 million pounds. The deal is to be completed by the 23rd November this year, and will see the creation of book selling entity ‘Naraporium.’

Although name changes aren’t vital to mergers and acquisitions, and more often than not in this scenario Naratill would either begin operating under the Storiporium name or both would keep their names but exist as one corporation for tax purposes, I thought I’d include a name change anyway just to show you where to include it- if it’s near the end, it’s a valuable detail people will keep reading for!

Quotes from the CEO/President/Executive level

People, and especially people in the media, love quotes. It’s the story, in the main character’s own words. What more could you want?

Just make sure no one goes totally ‘off-piste’ and says something totally bonkers or inappropriate.

For our example, the quote would be something like…

‘Storiporium is proud to welcome Naratill into the Storiporium family, and we’re excited as a brand to develop together as ‘Naraporium’- your digital, physical, audiobook, and subscription book delivery service.” – William Story, CEO of Storiporium.

Operational details after the deal is done

Here you need to outline your ‘meat and potatoes’ operational bits. The day to day, and how the merger will affect day to day operations. This is where you can be a little bit more people focussed, and develop the ideas of what each company has gained in the merger that you touched upon earlier. This can be anything from job losses to board restructuring, or a major external contractor/distributor being replaced by the merger.

In our example that looks like this:

The merger sees all employees of both companies retain their jobs, with Naratill CEO Jack Bookman becoming CFO of the new entity and Storiporium’s current head of marketing Toni Sellbooks being promoted to CMO for her vital role in the merger. Storiporium CEO William Story will remain chairman of the board.

If there are going to be job losses and that paints the company in a negative light from a brand point of view, it’s important to position that narrative sensitively. Don’t aim to put too much of a positive spin on job losses, but state clearly the business case for that eventuality.

Something like…

‘Naratill workers at it’s head office in Carlisle can expect some job losses due to efficiencies created by the new deal, although the scale of the redundancies are unclear at this point.’

is appropriate, whereas…

‘Naratill workers will be made redundant by the deal so that the company can save it’s customers more money’

might seem like a positive spin, but it’s actually much worse and positions the new brand badly. As I’m writing this, I’ve grown rather attached to Storiporium and Naratill, so I’m going to stick with the positive outcome and give them a happy ending without job losses!

That means our full example looks a bit like this:

Long awaited merger between Storiporium and Naratill completes after fee is agreed.

Storiporium, powerhouse of the bookselling industry, have finalised a merger deal with the significantly smaller cutting edge digital storytelling platform Naratill.

This merger gives Storiporium access to an online readership, and gives industry disruptor Naratill the financial positioning to compete in the space with larger, more established organisations.

Whilst this is the first merger for fiercely independent Naratill, for Storiporium this is an established growth tactic- they’ve acquired or merged with several businesses over the last decade, including national bookshop chain Hague and Sons.

A concentric merger, Storiporium gains access to Naratill’s built-in digital audience and Naratill gains greater reach into the physical book market.

The deal is thought to be worth £123 million pounds. The deal is to be completed by the 23rd November this year, and will see the creation of book selling entity ‘Naraporium.’

‘Storiporium is proud to welcome Naratill into the Storiporium family, and we’re excited as a brand to develop together as ‘Naraporium’- your digital, physical, audiobook, and subscription book delivery service.” – William Story, CEO of Storiporium.

The merger sees all employees of both companies retain their jobs, with Naratill CEO Jack Bookman becoming CFO of the new entity and Storiporium’s current head of marketing Toni Sellbooks being promoted to CMO for her vital role in the merger. Storiporium CEO William Story will remain chairman of the board.

It’s simple, but conveys all of the information William Walsh (our editor) could want.

If you’ve covered those off in enough detail, but they’re still entertaining enough to read, then you’ve won half the battle.

The other half is providing some visuals. We’re trying to make poor William Walsh’s life as easy as possible!

This means building out a media pack. So…
collection of media documents

How to build a media kit

Media kits are vital to any press release, but what exactly is a media kit in this context?

Let’s take a look…

What is a media kit?

A media kit is basically a one-stop shop for everything a journalist or editor could possibly need to write a story on your company. It should be eye catching and entice a journalist to actually write the story you want them to write.

Paired with the above, this is the place to get all of the multimedia assets for the story or release. So what multimedia assets should you include?

Photography and Images

These are vital. In a digital world, high resolution images are king. If you want to box a little bit clever, and possibly cultivate a stronger relationship with a particular media outlet or journalist by striking up a bit more of a conversation you can load in slightly less high resolution images, and in the pack include contact details to get higher resolutions. Something as simple as, ‘for higher resolution images for print media, contact: [email protected]’ does the trick.

Video footage

Videos are a great multimedia asset, especially for corporate videos. Including one or two videos, even of fairly generic handshakes and signings of contracts etc. can liven up a story and give a journalist a tangible way into the story.

If you aren’t quite equipped to create your own video assets, but would like to use video to announce the acquisition, why not get in touch with Canny and see if we can help in any way with our end to end videography service?

Branding and Visual Identity Assets

Mergers and Acquisitions are a major driver of rebranding projects, so any new visual identities or visual assets that are worth including in a press release should be included.

If your company has just been through a merger, or are about to and are looking for help with your rebranding services, get in touch with us here at Canny– it’s what we do best!

Mergers and Acquisitions

If you’re searching for merger and acquisitions press release templates, or have read this far down in the blog, then it’s safe to say you’re probably looking to put out a press release.

The final consideration in this endeavour is to make sure that you’ve spoken to everyone it will affect internally first.

Relationships, business and personal, are built on trust.

If anyone in the business, from the non-executive directors to the work experience intern there for two weeks finds out about the merger or acquisition before the press, you’ve failed them. Internal communications should go out before any press release, but they can also follow the same template!

If your company is going through a merger and are likely to need some rebranding services, why not get in touch with Canny and we can help you through the rebranding process following your acquisition or merger!