Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions: The one thing you need to get right.
HBR, June 2016, p42
By Roger L. Martin

Roger L. Martin is one of the better observers and commentators of the great game of business and this article is no exception. Concise and focused, it describes the Mergers and Acquisitions playing field and shows which of two fundamental strategies wins and which loses. “Give” is the winning strategy and “Take” is the losing one. If you are doing the M&A dance to look good and enhance your own organization in some way then then you are doing the take and the seller reaps all the value so the acquisition will not pay for itself. If you do the M&A dance to make your partner look good, to bring your value to the deal, and enhance the other operation then you are doing the give and will reap the value of the enhancement. Roger finds four ways that you can enhance the value of your acquisition: by being a smarter provider of growth capital, by providing better management oversight, by transferring valuable skills, and by sharing valuable capabilities.