What do you think will be the most important aspect of any merger or acquisition you are undertaking?
Regardless of the scale of the acquisition or merger there are two important issues that you will need to be address from the outset to ensure success.
Recognition of any cultural differences between the two organisations
Effective communications to all stakeholders.
Do not underestimate the amount of time you need to devote to these aspects from the initial evaluation phase, through negotiation and into the implementation stage and the ultimate integration of the two businesses.
If the way to achieve your strategic goal is to enter into a joint venture then make sure when entering into the relationship you give equal attention to the exit terms and conditions as you do to the terms of the deal. Make sure you can afford to get out if you need to!