In November 2019, Google announced its intent to acquire digital health company Fitbit. The move marked another big step for Google into the med-tech field, and its implications shook the digital health industry space. This kind of billion-dollar acquisition will undoubtedly affect dozens, if not hundreds, of digital health companies. Predicting such a move could have provided a significant competitive advantage to other companies in the industry space.
But how do you identify an acquisition or merger before it’s announced? Here are a few signals to look out for if you think a competing company is getting ready to merge:
- Social media chatter: Keep an eye out for interactions on social media interactions that go beyond typical industry banter. Companies cozying up to one another via mentions, retweets, and shared content might be on the verge of deepening their business relationship behind the scenes.
- Staff changes: Layoffs, especially major ones, are always worth noting, especially if the downsizing is unexpected. Companies that are gearing up to merge or be sold often try to shed extra expenses (and employees) to make the transition as seamless as possible.
- Management changes: Higher level employees who are “in the know” may be on the lookout for new job opportunities before the news of a merger or acquisition goes public. If you notice key executives leaving, that may indicate that change is on the horizon for your competition.
- Quiet period: In order to conform to SEC regulations regarding acquisitions, many companies that are on the brink of being sold or merged will go quiet in the month leading up to the announcement. If you notice a 30 day drop in social media output, along with a noticeable lack of press, it could mean that there are changes brewing behind the scenes.
For information about how CI Radar can help you predict your competition’s next big move, contact us today!