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Deals from Hell: M&A Lessons that Rise Above the Ashes Paperback – September 28, 2015
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"According to the author, six key elements embedded in disasters are 'complexity, tight coupling, management choices, cognitive biases, business not as usual, and failure of the operational team.' In unison, these are lethal, he cautions. 'Systems that adapt well to error anticipate it, actively seek information, use checkpoints to control the spread of error, and invite countervailing forces to oppose error.' So, what's the insight for businesses? 'Design of organisation structures and business processes could employ similar principles to thwart M&A failures, ' counsels Bruner. Part II of the book has ten case studies, including AOL-Time Warner, Mattel-The Learning Company, and Renault-Volvo. Part III is about conclusions and implications'. Bruner dins in before parting: 'The growth that matters is growth in economic value. The rest is smoke.' Fiery read!" -- D. Murali, The Hindu Business Line
From the Inside Flap
The study of failure is the source of thoughtful advances, and in Deals from Hell: M&A Lessons That Rise Above the Ashes, Bruner focuses on M&A failures to help you achieve M&A success. Comprised of three information-packed parts--The Foundations of M&A Failure; Case Studies of M&A Failures; and Avoiding the Deal from Hell--this comprehensive guide offers a realistic look at how M&A transactions really work.
By addressing the key factors of M&A failure and success, Deals from Hell illustrates the best ways to analyze, design, and implement your own M&A deals. You'll gain valuable perspectives from the standpoint of previous research, and through ten real-world case studies, you'll discover how little an M&A situation must differ in order to deliver rather different results. Some of the cases examined include: AOL and Time Warner The acquisition of Snapple by Quaker Oats The acquisition of Columbia Pictures by Sony Corporation Renault's proposed merger with Volvo Mattel's acquisition of The Learning Company The acquisition program of Tyco International
All of the cases presented are paired with a counterpoint or complementary case. The comparison cases are not intended to be deals from heaven--they're merely examples of how thin the line is between M&Asuccess and failure. After you've become familiar with the research and cases outlined in the first two sections of the book, Bruner concludes his M&A discussion with a look at the implications of these deals for CEOs, investors, and those concerned with public policy.
Filled with in-depth insights, expert advice, and valuable lessons gleaned from notably bad M&A transactions, Deals from Hell will change the way you think about M&A and help you understand--as well as anticipate--the obstacles to M&A success.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's obvious that the book was written by a college professor, and the footnotes should be read as well as the chapters to get the full picture. At the same time, the case studies seem to be well chosen to exemplify the classes of problem he addresses.
The book starts with a comparison of M&A problems to other fiascos and disasters. This is useful up to a point - I did not find it overdone, although it's not a typical start to a business book. The author then outlines six areas which cause M&A disasters. Some, like financing complexity, are obvious. Others, like "Tight coupling" of business operations, are less so, but worth the time to consider.
The rest of the book comprises chapters dealing with various problem mergers. These are usually presented in contrast to a successful merger or acquisition later in the chapter, illustrating how some of the pitfalls in the fiasco were avoided in another, similar M&A deal.
I would have liked to see more about how to evaluate synergy in M&A deals - but that's probably another book.
If you or your company have anything to do with M&A, this will probably be a worthwhile read. The presentation is dry, but the cases are a good selection, and the author's points merit consideration. It will certainly give me some food for thought when my company makes another acquisition!
This book seems targeted at a professional audience-- it digs deep enough to inform even the most knowledgeable managers and academics-- but it is also readable by a general audience. The ten case studies present compelling narratives of major failures that changed the way everyone does business. Even those without any particular interest in management will find the history interesting. A close reading of this book will especially benefit policymakers who are concerned by the social costs of business failure.
In a field where the stakes are tremendously high, it's important to learn why the major failures have occurred. "Deals from Hell" is the perfect teacher.
The author does a great job of driving home his six factors present in most failed mergers, providing examples of each of those factors in the case studies he provides.
Don't let the criticisms keep you from reading this informative book.
I felt it might have been more informative and compelling if there was a better discussion of some of the broader motives involved and more exploration of some of the interesting (and infamous) characters who were responsible for these failed deals.
Having said that, this is an excellent read, and is highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
bought this with Applied Mergers and acquisition text book written by the same author. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but this book feels like a textbook too..Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very interesting books that highlights the problems many companies have had with M&A. Easy to read and very logically laid out.Published 8 months ago by Jmfv27
Slightly dry, but m&A practitioners (whether legal, advisory or otherwise) will likely glean at least a bit of knowledge from reading.Published 18 months ago by Thomas Laughlin
This was a gift I did not read it. However the man I putchased it for
was so happy to have it.
Very pleased with this service.