Leveraging PR to Attract Merger and Acquisition Suitors


The high tech market is a well-known hotbed for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. For companies that are actively seeking to join forces with another, and/or entrepreneurs seeking a successful exit (and from there, a new venture), there are a host of PR tactics that can be employed to effectively raise their profile and valuation among potential suitors. Remember, the goodwill asset of every balance sheet is pure perception, and marketing plays a vital role here.

Caveat: Never build a company with the primary aim of selling it. Build a company that will add value to the marketplace and for your stakeholders within and outside your company. Real value creation coupled with deliberate crafting of brand awareness will compel the market to come knocking on your door.

Fast Response PR – Look for opportunities to provide public commentary on relevant, high profile breaking news that your potential suitors will be watching very closely. By providing your perspective to the media early in the news cycle, you can gain entry into the resulting media coverage. This is a great opportunity to inject your company into the story, and grab the attention of potential suitors who are keenly interested in growing their presence and accumulating IP in a competitive and consolidating marketplace. 

Analyst Relations - Industry analysts are tightly plugged in to the vendor ecosystem, and are particularly adept at identifying vendor/technology synergies. By communicating your story to them, you increase the chances that they'll communicate your story to potential suitors behind the scenes. Want to take this a step further? Introduce your company to financial analysts that cover your target suitors on behalf of the investor community. Tell them your story and explain where your company fits in the ecosystem. They'll infer if/how there's money to be made from a potential merger or acquisition, and can be instrumental in making connections. 

Company ‘Keywords’ - Seed your press releases and content with the names of potential suitors and/or their key products. Explain within the text how your technology is a natural complement to these vendor's technologies. If the potential suitor is tracking online mentions of their company/products - and they almost surely are - they'll likely take notice. Don’t get carried away though. Be selective about these company/product mentions, and keep them in context. Gratuitous mentions can raise red flags for suitors and search engines alike, while watering down your content. 

It’s important to note that you can undertake any and all of the aforementioned tactics without ever publically acknowledging that your company is for sale. And these tactics needn’t be confined to an M&A-focused PR strategy – they can be employed across a wide range of PR initiatives aimed at raising one’s profile in the high tech community. Rainier Communications can advise you when, where and how you can employ these tactics and others for maximum impact.

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About Colin Boroski

Colin has 15+ years of experience managing full-service public relations programs for a spectrum of publicly-traded and private technology companies in the embedded and enterprise IT domains. Since joining Rainier in 2009, he has provided PR support for clients including Anobit, Vicor, Analog Devices, MORE IT Resources, M/A-COM, Silent Communication, ViewCast and ETV Motors. Colin has also provided ongoing writing and content development services for clients including AMD and NXP Semiconductors.

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