Top Executive File: Acquisition Curse

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Avoiding the Acquisition Curse

by Olivier Pujol

Surveys show that, in average, mergers and acquisitions destroy value. Highly publicized successes are not sufficient to compensate for disastrous operations.

Yet, it is relatively easy to set the rules of good acquisition practices. M&A professionals know them well, but seem to keep breaking the rules: make acquisitions beyond the scope of their strategy, produce unrealistic business projections to accommodate for sellers exorbitant demands, or fail to implement integration plans.

The mechanisms leading to these repeated mistakes are powerful enough to overcome experience and wisdom.

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