CHAPTER 6Searching, Screening, and Selection

“What are you looking for?” asked a passerby.“My keys,” said the man, scouring the curbside under the streetlight.“Did you drop them here?”“No, but the light’s good here.”

—Anonymous

Once a company decides on its strategic goals and determines that M&A can help meet them, the next step is to set criteria for a thorough comparative screening and selection of possible acquisition candidates. Even if one company seems perfect for the strategy—or so good that it inspires a new strategy—it is important to consider the alternatives. At the very least, knowing the alternatives will help determine an appropriate price for the opportunity at hand. However, in most cases there is more than one potential combination ...

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