The volume of strategic mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures occurring in the United States grew 25 percent in the first half of 2013. This trend shows no signs of abating as, according to PwC's Annual Global CEO Survey, more than 40 percent of U.S. executives expect their company to pursue such a transaction over the next 12 months.

This increase in deal activity is occurring despite inconsistent evidence about the value of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions—with some studies placing the failure rate at more than 60 percent. Companies sustain a high level of enthusiasm for M&A deals despite the known risks, largely because they focus on a deal's synergies without adequately considering how they are going to identify, assess, and mitigate operational and organizational risks. In the recent PwC survey, executives planning to undertake a strategic transaction cited "creating and capitalizing on deal synergies" as the primary driver of their M&A aspirations.

How can your organization beat the odds and successfully navigate a complex merger, acquisition, spinoff, or carve-out to increase profitability, market share, and shareholder value? One key driver of M&A success—from initial scoping through transaction close and beyond—is the performance of the treasury function. Due to its financial importance, operational significance, and organizational complexity, corporate treasury often serves as the bellwether of a deal's success. It's critical for a treasury function to manage the risks inherent in a large-scale transaction, while capitalizing on the opportunities to strategically transform the newly formed organization.

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