The more reasons you have to buy a company, the less you should want it. This may sound strange. After all, isn’t it best to be efficient and kill two (or more) birds with one stone? Since acquisitions are rather expensive, shouldn’t you get your money’s worth? Endless Possibilities…Zero Results It can be tempting to think […]

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“We have a strong vision and a clear plan for growing the company in the future,” Sarah, the CEO, told me with complete confidence during a recent strategy session. Her CFO disagreed: “We have no vision.” Various members of her executive team shared similar sentiments privately with my team and me. Many expressed anxiety; they […]

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Acquisitions are one of the fastest ways to grow, but they do come with their own set of risks. Industry numbers show that about 70% of acquisitions fail, so executives are highly motivated to mitigate their risks when purchasing a company. This can be done in a number of ways. Usually we think about hiring […]

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Time your negotiations by understanding owner psychology. Everyone wants to talk about price in mergers and acquisitions. It’s often the number one focus of buyers and sellers…but for opposite reasons. Both are likely to say they are looking for a “good deal,” but this can have a completely different meaning depending on the perspective. Buyers […]

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When it comes to integration, people often think equity ownership should determine their approach. If they own 100% of the business, they should change all the target’s practices to their own.  In a strategic alliance where neither side can force the other side to do anything, they might not integrate any of the practices. But […]

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If you’re strategic acquirer, 2015 will be a good year for you. In 2014 we started to see companies, especially strategic acquirers be more aggressive about M&A. This likely will continue and even accelerate in 2015, especially since many still have a record amount of cash on their balance sheets. While we’ve had a pretty […]

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“I felt so vulnerable. I didn’t know what to do or what to talk about,” Dan told me. As the CEO of a food manufacturer who was pursuing acquisitions, he had a first meeting with an owner of a packaging facility before he engaged Capstone. When we met he expressed feelings of uncertainty and how […]

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How do you begin your courtship of a not-for-sale company? Sending a letter is fairly common practice for contacting owners, but it’s not the most effective way to communicate. A letter will not attract the owner’s attention and likely will go into the trash without being read. There’s a better way to stand out from the […]

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At first glance you may ask, “Why in the world would Warren Buffett buy Duracell?” One explanation is financial. Through a bit of fiscal engineering Berkshire Hathaway is able to avoid triggering significant taxes. The Duracell transaction, is essentially a merger through a stock swap. Berkshire will give P&G $4.7 billion of the shares it […]

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With a 70% failure rate for acquisitions, it seems like the odds are against you from the beginning. Before you get scared off, however, let’s take a closer look at what that 70% means. The 70% failure rate is mainly based on large, publicly traded transactions because large transactions must be reported to the SEC, […]

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I’m often asked for a due diligence checklist by clients or acquirers who are anxious to make sure they’ve covered all their bases. While there are plenty of due diligence checklists, I caution against using a list developed by someone else because it may not cover aspects that are important to your organization. Your questions […]

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Burger King and Tim Hortons plan to merge in an $11 billion deal that will create a new fast food powerhouse. The merger has received significant attention from the media, dealmakers, regulators and consumers. Capstone’s infographic will show you what you need to know about this exciting transaction. Click on the image for a closer […]

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Burger King and Tim Hortons announced on Sunday that they would merge into a single enterprise with $22 billion in revenue and 18,000 restaurants worldwide. A new parent company headquartered in Canada would be created in what technically is a tax inversion, although tax savings are not driving the merger itself. The main strategy is […]

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Deferring to advisors during the M&A process can be detrimental to a company, as evidenced by the back and forth over Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ unsolicited $53 billion bid to acquire Allergan, the maker of Botox. The maneuvering over the past several months has become heated and off-track. Or as the Deal Professor column puts it: “Some […]

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“The danger with a mergers-and-acquisitions boom is that chief executives could allow themselves to get carried away by the thrill of the hunt, reducing their focus on internal investment projects that might have a better chance of bearing fruit,” says the New York Time’s Dealbook column. M&A activity has reached record highs and shows no […]

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is determined to grow through acquisitions.  Already actively pursuing a deal with Allergan, the maker of Botox, Valeant is reportedly seeking another contact lens company. CEO Michael Pearson said the company “will not be content to remain the No. 4 global player in the contact lens industry.” Valeant has a history of […]

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Here’s a quick thought about the Abbvie – Shire transaction that’s received so much recent attention because of the decision to reincorporate in Ireland once the deal is completed. Tax inversions are in vogue and a hot topic in the media. While the tax benefits of an inversion certainly are important in this acquisition, that’s […]

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It was a busy Monday for Mergers & Acquisitions with two big brands announcing consolidations: Zillow will buy Trulia and Dollar Tree will buy Family Dollar. Activity is getting frothy and as I’ve been saying, the sleeping dragon is starting to wake up. Here’s what you need to know about these transactions: Zillow to acquire […]

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Two of the largest chicken producers, Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods, have been fighting over Hillshire Farms. On Monday, Tyson Foods raised its offer to $63 a share in cash, which values Hillshire at $7.7 billion. Last week, Pilgrim’s Pride had raised its bid 22% to $55 a share; however Pilgrim’s Pride has withdrawn its […]

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Facing a stagnant market, retailers of consumer staples have turned to aggressive discounts to drive growth. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 50% of consumers’ purchases include markdowns! More Discounts is NOT More Growth Businesses in non-growth or declining growth markets understandably must find new ways to capture market share. However, offering more […]

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