The Whole Deal: Fulfilling the Promise of Acquisitions and Mergers

Are mergers a fool’s errand? A few years ago, it became conventional wisdom to say so. Such pessimism was certainly understandable as one ambitious deal after another, fueled by the easy financing of the dot-com boom, unraveled. A study released in 2001 found as much, reporting that 53 percent of the mergers from the late 1990s had failed — and that two-thirds fell short of expectations.

Much has changed about the merger environment since then. That’s the premise of The Whole Deal: Fulfilling the Promise of Acquisitions and Mergers, which shows that a new era of successful mergers is upon us, one in which tough lessons about planning and execution are being applied to today’s deals. It carries a message of optimism and urgency. Despite whatever trepidation senior managers might feel, mergers are an indispensable part of most growth strategies and vital for staying competitive and meeting shareholder expectations. The trick is to apply strategic diligence, focus early planning on the key integration imperatives, and execute those imperatives effectively.

As proof, The Whole Deal draws on the M&A experiences of dozens of companies, including BP, IBM, Procter & Gamble, and Symantec.

These companies’ firsthand exploits are coupled with insightful essays from leading M&A practitioners on setting the direction for an effective M&A strategy, its execution, the pitfalls and benefits of alternatives to M&A, and the challenges of cross-border M&A. The Whole Deal provides ideas and lessons for senior executives and anyone else who wants to understand how to design and execute mergers and acquisitions in today’s global economy.