January 13, 2014 (McLean, VA) – Capstone Strategic, Inc., a leading management consulting firm specializing in strategic growth, announced today that Michelman and Maruyoshi Chemical have entered into a joint venture, Maruyoshi Michelman Co. Ltd. Michelman is a global developer of water-based coatings headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. Maruyoshi is a specialty waterborne polyolefin emulsions and chemical […]

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Many leaders take a reactive rather than proactive approach when it comes to M&A. They often realize that their organic growth is stagnant and they’ve got some money they can leverage, so they decide to make an acquisition. What do they do? They go find for-sale companies or respond to those that have found them. […]

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Facebook’s $3 billion offer to buy Snapchat points to a growing number of mobile technology acquisitions. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal reported Facebook offered $3 billion to acquire Snapchat. While Snapchat has declined, Facebook’s offer points to growing trend of technology companies acquiring rather than building new mobile apps. Most recently, we’ve seen a string […]

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Did you know about 97% of acquisitions are small to mid-sized companies? Acquisition is an effective tool that can be used by companies of any size, not just those in the Fortune 500. To see how, watch my interview with Matthew Lesko. When we think of mergers and acquisitions, we often only think of mergers […]

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A recent Deloitte survey noted frequent misalignment between CFOs and company directors about the strategic rationale of M&A. The study concludes that CFOs and board members should align their M&A strategy for greater success. Naturally, I’m not surprised by these findings. The likelihood of successful acquisition would increase if all parties shared the same strategy. […]

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Apple’s growth has slowed significantly. USA Today reports that its gross margin dropped for the fifth straight quarter to 36.8% of sales and that iPad sales are down by 16%. Apple CEO Tim Cook has recognized Apple is in a mature, slow-growth market.  If a company that grew steadily through the recession and whose stock […]

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American individuals and corporations are playing it safe, according to  The Wall Street Journal, contributing to a slower employment rebound:  “[After the recession] of the early 1990s, it took 32 months for payrolls to rebound fully. After the even milder recession of 2001, it took four years. Today, nearly four years after the end of […]

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The fifth and final pathway to growth is external growth. Here, expansion is achieved by engaging with entities outside your company. There are many forms of engagement, of which acquisition is but one. External growth can be one of the most exciting paths to growth and in many cases, it should top your list of […]

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Although I deal primarily with mergers and acquisitions, acquisition is simply one pathway to external growth and should be considered in a broader context. One of the pathways to external growth to consider is minority interest ownership. Microsoft’s proposed buyout of Dell demonstrates many of the benefits of minority interest ownership, a surprisingly neglected tactic. […]

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The decision to make an acquisition is no small step. While there is risk inherent in any acquisition, the downsides can pale next to the potentially enormous rewards. In my post on the Association for Corporate Growth blog, I outline how to plan a  new acquisition so you can minimize the risk and reap the […]

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As we begin the new year, I am reminded of the importance of looking to the future for growth. One of the tools I use at Capstone when we begin work with clients is Michael Porter’s ‘‘Five Forces’’ model for analyzing a company’s relative position in the market. It invites you to look at the pressures […]

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Last week, I wrote about the importance of self-exploration. To begin your journey of self-exploration, here are seven strategic questions you may find helpful: 1)     What business are we in? 2)     What is our core competency? 3)     What are we not? 4)     Where is our pain? 5)     What are our dreams? 6)     What is our […]

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As you move from developing the strategic foundations for growth to implementing your growth plan, think about the different pathways to growth. Choosing the right pathway for growth is considered to be the heart of business. In the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG)  blog, I outline some of the strategic pathways you can take for growth, […]

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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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