When buyout rumors loom on CNBC, the stock price of the target soars. Yet, most acquisitions fail for a number of reasons. Overpayment. Market consolidation (Bigger doesn’t always equal better). And my favorite, synergy. When two companies with complimentary assets merge, the thought goes that the new entity creates additional value for customers, shareholders, and employees.
Rarely, does this happen. Remember AQuantive, Geocities, Snapple, Nextel, Autonomy, Palm, and most things Yahoo has touched (50 companies since 2012). This is a long list. I once was part of an aquisition where the team/company applied a multiple for synergy before setting a purchase price. Basically, this means that by combining your current Product A with the acuiring Product B you can create 4x value to end client. This can happen through controlling more of the sales process and corresponding value chain.
In the first year, I don’t think we came with 50% of the new target. That being said, compared to the standard and our peers at the time, maybe this wasn’t too bad. Creating synergy takes time. Still, it didn’t feel good. Buyer beware. Set expectations accordingly.