"engages in the kind of candid thinking that has long been missing from the high stack of books." ("The Wall Street Journal," May 26, 2005)
"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
Given the sheer complexity of M&A deals, it's easy to see why so many of them fall short of their intended goals. Although mergers and acquisitions are no easy path to riches, it's definitely not a loser's game either. With the right attitude and understanding, it is possible to succeed in the world of mergers and acquisitions, and Robert Bruner, one of the foremost thinkers and educators in this field, wants to show you how.
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 partsThe Foundations of M&A Failure; Case Studies of M&A Failures; and Avoiding the Deal from Hellthis 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 heaventhey're merely examples of how thin the line is between M&A success 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 understandas well as anticipatethe obstacles to M&A success.
--This text refers to the