Japan’s Suntory is making a big investment in buying the makers of Jim Beam for $13.6 billion. Jim Beam is a highly branded U.S. company and this deal is second largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Japanese buyer.  The underlying concept is the folks in Japan have recognized their domestic markets are not […]

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Last week, Sysco announced it would buy rival US Foods for nearly $3.5 billion. Sysco is already a huge player in the food industry with customers ranging from the US military to schools to five-star restaurants. This deal brings together the two largest food distributors in the US, increasing Sysco’s share of the food distribution […]

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From my perspective of largely successful acquisitions, most acquisitions end in failure because they are missing a third-party advisor. A third-party advisor can play an irreplaceable role on your acquisition team as an ‘‘outside insider’’ who can unearth hidden intelligence, resolve stubborn conflicts, help cooler heads prevail, and maintain a strategic perspective from beginning to […]

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Acquisitions fail for reasons that range from lack of compelling strategic rationale to inadequate due diligence to conflicting cultures. I think many would say acquisitions fail because too much was paid for them. While overpaying is certainly a reason for failure, I would not say it is the top reason. In my experience, I have […]

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Neiman Marcus has been sold by private equity groups TPG and Warburg Pincus for $6 billion to Canadian PE firm Ares Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Group (CPPIB). TPG and Warburg filed for an IPO earlier this summer but kept their options open, Forbes reports. This transaction is not really surprising given the conditions […]

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I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing everything down during negotiations. Once an item has been discussed and decided upon, have someone from each party initial the notes to confirm the completion. Maintaining a written record helps to keep everyone on the same page. Without such a record, you run the danger of having two […]

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When I am teaching M&A, I often use the phrase ‘‘from beginning to beginning.’’ I am signaling a difference from the more familiar phrase ‘‘from beginning to end,’’ which suggests that once the deal is signed, the process is over. In my experience, the end of an M&A transaction marks the beginning of a whole […]

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Are you considering an acquisition? Remember, when it comes to buying companies, especially privately held ones, the transaction is almost never about just the price. There is always something going on that falls outside the spreadsheets. Understanding that mysterious ‘‘something’’ is what can make or break your deal. The statistics are frightening. By most reckonings, […]

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Edelman Financial Group agreed to sell their business for $258 million which is reported to be a 43% premium over their stock price. The interesting thing is the agreement includes a 40 day “go-shop clause” where the company can seek higher bids. I have been talking about these provisions for several years and expect you’ll […]

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While visiting my brother’s family and partaking in a delicious cupcake during my niece’s one year milestone birthday celebration, I had a valuation thought…she was doing what most kids at that age do: copying the older kids’ movements. Waving, smiling, stuffing cake in her face and, of course, throwing everything. Adults, some very experienced, tend […]

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Fortis, Inc (TSX: FTS), a Canadian utility company, announced yesterday that it is acquiring CH Energy Group (NYSE: CHG) for $1B in cash plus the assumption of $500K in debt, which is about 10x 2011 EBITDA. CH Energy, which is a public utility headquartered in Poughkeepsie, NY, said this about the benefits of the acquisition: […]

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