Company Acquisitions – Why ESG Factors Are Central to Success and Corporate Value

Steinbeis M&A Partners and the Steinbeis Augsburg Business School, a Steinbeis Consulting Center, join forces in strategic initiatives

In a world marked by rapid change, the important role played by mergers and acquisitions (M&As) has extended to different areas. Gone are the days when M&As were just about corporate growth or entering new markets – M&As are now a key tool of strategic realignment and sustainable business development. The principles of sustainability – especially within the context of ESG criteria, i.e. environmental, social, and governance factors – are evolving into key elements of M&A strategies and thus a decisive aspect of long-term corporate success. One pivotal element of M&A decisions is the extent to which ESG principles influence the ability to minimize risk, spot new business opportunities, and boost market value. The partnership between the Steinbeis Augsburg Business School and Steinbeis M&A Partners aims to lay a scientific foundation for ESG principles as core elements of effective and sustainable M&A transactions.

From left to right: Andreas Renner (Steinbeis Consulting Center: Institute for Effective Management), Ralf Lauterwasser (Steinbeis), Anja Renner (Steinbeis Consulting Center: Institute for Effective Management), and Steffen Lohrer (Steinbeis M&A Partners GmbH) at the Lake Starnberg Talks

Transformation in the M&A industry is leading to important speculation not only regarding the degree to which ESG principles are changing how companies are valued and selected in M&A transactions, but also which specific ESG factors are the most important ones to investors and buyers. Recent studies show that firms pursuing advanced ESG strategies are more popular among investors and achieve higher selling prices, underlining the economic value of ESG.

ESG and M&A strategies – practical steps

“Given the growing relevance of this topic, it’s crucial that companies approach this proactively,” highlights Daniel Lutzenberger, who is responsible for ESG and sustainability at the Institute for Effective Management, a Steinbeis Consulting Center. He particularly recommends five measures to companies:

  1. Knowledge building: There are specialist journals and industry reports offering valuable insights into ESG trends and practices.
  2. Internal analysis: It is essential to conduct a critical assessment of in-house M&A strategies according to ESG criteria.
  3. Stakeholder dialog: Exchanging ideas with investors, customers, and staff offers the potential to deepen the understanding of ESG issues and can lead to holistic solutions.
  4. Target-setting: Defining clear sustainability goals for M&A initiatives can increase company value in the long term.
  5. Expert advice: Involving ESG experts in M&A processes supports companies in the development of effective strategies.

These measures are not only crucial when it comes to risk minimization and compliance, they also offer opportunities in terms of sustainable growth, innovation, and competitive advantage.

ESG and M&A strategies – recognizing opportunities and taking responsibility

Integrating ESG factors into M&A strategies can no longer be considered an optional extra, it has become a strategic necessity. For companies that recognize this and become proactive, there is an opportunity to safeguard the long-term success of business and, at the same time, make a positive impact on society and the environment.

Developed by the Institute for Effective Management (a Steinbeis Consulting Center) in collaboration with Steinbeis M&A Partners, a new tool called the ESG Quick Check offers an effective and quick initial assessment of the current status of companies. In addition to enabling companies to conduct quick, thorough, and timely evaluations of potential takeover targets, this checklist also helps minimize risk and identify opportunities to create sustainable value.

The future is looking good for ESG in conjunction with M&As. Companies that integrate ESG principles into their strategies are not only rewarded by investors and customers, they also make an important contribution to a more responsible world of business. The partnership between the Institute for Effective Management and Steinbeis M&A Partners is based on an innovative approach toward making the M&A space more sustainable.

A partner for your M&A strategy

Steinbeis M&A Partners GmbH offers the ideal platform for companies seeking to take the lead in M&A processes and transactions. Advice is provided to entrepreneurial thinkers by other entrepreneurial thinkers. The Steinbeis experts offer support with the effective management of complex transactions, working closely with clients to achieve successful outcomes. Further information:

The Steinbeis Augsburg Business School is a Steinbeis Consulting Center offering professional development and certification services in the field of ESG through its in-house Steinbeis Augsburg Business School. In addition to supporting technical specialists and managers on the path to certification, the comprehensive array of courses offered by the Steinbeis experts provides help in forging a successful career. Further information:



Daniel Lutzenberger (author)
Steinbeis Consulting Center Steinbeis Augsburg Business School (Augsburg)