Making Mergers Work

Executives too often overlook the vital question of identity when seeking synergies from mergers and acquisitions.

BY HAMID BOUCHIKHI AND JOHN R. KIMBERLY

THE CEO OF a building products company based in Europe, which we’ll call BPC, was seeking to expand the company’s global footprint and believed that a significant presence in North America was essential. In the course of his search for acquisitions, he identified a large cement maker in the southern part of the United States and launched a takeover bid. The deal was completed after much maneuvering and arm-twisting, despite a negative recommendation from the target company’s management to its board, and the acquiring CEO kept the initially hostile management team in place. ...

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