The Synergy Trap, Asia-Pacific Edition (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 15, 2010 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
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"Every CEO and Corporate Director who has been in the path of the 'WOW! GRAB IT!' acquisition locomotive should read this book!"

-- Charles R. Shoemate,

Chairman and CEO, Bestfoods

With global acquisition activity running into the trillions of dollars, the acquisition alternative continues to be the favorite corporate growth strategy of this generation's executives. Unfortunately, creating shareholder value remains the most elusive outcome of these corporate strategies. After decades of research and billions of dollars paid in advisory fees, why do these major decisions continue to destroy value?

Building on his groundbreaking research first cited in Business Week, Mark L. Sirower explains how companies often pay too much -- and predictably never realize the promises of increased performance and competitiveness -- in their quest to acquire other companies. Armed with extensive evidence, Sirower destroys the popular notion that the acquisition premium represents potential value. He provides the first formal and functional definition for synergy -- the specific increases in performance beyond those already expected for companies to achieve independently. Sirower's refreshing nuts-and-bolts analysis of the fundamentals behind acquisition performance cuts sharply through the existing folklore surrounding failed acquisitions, such as lack of "strategic fit" or corporate culture problems, and gives managers the tools to avoid predictable losses in acquisition decisions.

Using several detailed examples of recent major acquisitions and through his masterful integration and extension of techniques from finance and business strategy, Sirower reveals:


  • The unique business gamble that acquisitions represent
  • The managerial challenges already embedded in current stock prices
  • The competitive conditions that must be met and the organizational cornerstones that must be in place for any possibility of synergy
  • The precise Required Performance Improvements (RPIs) implicitly embedded in acquisition premiums and the reasons why these RPIs normally dwarf realistic performance gains
  • The seductiveness and danger of sophisticated valuation models so often used by advisors


The Synergy Trap is the first expose of its kind to prove that the tendency of managers to succumb to the "up the ante" philosophy in acquisitions often leads to disastrous ends for their shareholders. Sirower shows that companies must meticulously plan -- and account for huge uncertainties -- before deciding to enter the acquisition game. To date, Sirower's work is the most comprehensive and rigorous, yet practical, analysis of the drivers of acquisition performance. This definitive book will become required reading for managers, corporate directors, consultants, investors, bankers, and academics involved in the mergers and acquisitions arena.
  

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User Review  - Lori Grant - Goodreads

A should-read book on partnerships and alliances for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs. Read full review

Contents

The Acquisition Game
3
Can You Run Harder? Synergy
18
Do You Feel Lucky? The Acquisition Premium
44
Tools and Lessons for the Acquisition Game
75
AN ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE
83
Methodology
100
Discussion of Results
114
Implications of the Analysis
137
Review and Critique of Prior Research
145
Detailed Results of the Analysis in Part 2
167
Notes
225
Bibliography
239
Index
275
About the Author
289
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Mark L. Sirower is a corporate development advisor with The Boston Consulting Group and a visiting professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. He speaks worldwide on creating value through mergers and acquisitions and actively consults with major corporations on M&A decisions. The Synergy Trap is based on his pathbreaking Columbia University doctoral thesis. He lives in New York City.

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