Tag Mergers

Apotheker to run SAP again?

What are HP’s strategic plans?

So Leo Apotheker, former head of SAP AG, replaces Mark Hurd at HP. Mr Apotheker has a background in software, but was chosen over a large number of candidates with far more relevant experience and caught many observers on the back foot.

But here at Vox Sapiens we were not at all surprised. In fact, we half suspected it because Read more

The Fat MAN defense

Fiat mixtura – but which one

The fat man defense is a company strategy whereby an acquisition is made to increase the size of a business so that it is more difficult to acquire. Fiat mixtura is a Latin phrase that can be loosely translated as “let the integration be made.” But will an integration involve a fat MAN? Read more

Are Private Equity firms buying the right due diligence?

Are their needs the same as those of corporate buyers?

Private Equity companies and Corporates tend to buy a very similar scope of acquisition due diligence services. They buy a huge financial due diligence (FDD) exercise, usually also containing a significant tax component; they buy legal due diligence; and they might buy a bit of operational due diligence (ODD), a bit of commercial due diligence (CDD), and maybe a bit of the supporting products such as IT due diligence (ITDD) and HR due diligence (HR). But Private Equity companies and Corporates have very different internal skill bases, and therefore need to buy different acquisition due diligence products. So why don’t they?
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What price a banking license?

Around 50 million pounds

JC Flowers, the Private Equity house based in New York, has agreed to pay GBP50m for a 49% stake in a Joint Venture with Kent Reliance Building Society (KRBS).

Does JC Flowers see KRBS as a major business opportunity? Hardly, because Read more

Has SAP missed a trick?

Sybase may be a costly mistake

So it looks like SAP is going to buy Sybase, database vendor. But SAP is paying a lot of money for the company placed fourth in its main market. The price per share, at USD65 and a 44% premium to the pre-announcement price, hearkens back to the mid-1990’s when Sybase was still considered a serious competitor to Oracle, IBM, Ingres (another decliner), and Microsoft was not taken seriously as an enterprise computing vendor.

Here at Vox Sapiens we are not sure this is the right move for SAP. Firstly, Sybase is probably a poor choice at virtually any price. But there is plenty of commentary available on this elsewhere on the web.

So instead, here at Vox Sapiens we will discuss the company that SAP should have bought. And that company is Read more

O Lord, I’ve bought me …

… a chunk of Mercedes-Benz

So Renault-Nissan and Daimler have agreed a cross-shareholding and cooperation on future technology. Here at Vox Sapiens we are not optimistic about this alliance. Read more

We should expect some mergers to fail

Why should mergers or carve-outs differ from other change programs?

Every report on the state of mergers and acquisitions points out that a proportion of mergers fail to deliver the intended benefits. Similarly, reports on the success of projects convey a similar message – some projects fail. Mergers are amongst the largest and most complex projects that companies must implement, and are not ‘run of the mill’ for most companies, so shouldn’t we expect mergers to fail – at least until we can implement projects successfully? Read more

GM’s intellectual property smokescreen?

“Transferring GM’s jewels to Russia via Opel”

The media report that General Motors was loathe to sell (a full or partial stake in) its European Opel operations to the Magna consortium because it is concerned that this will provide a conduit via which GM’s intellectual property (“IP”) might end up in the hands of GAZ, a competitor to the Chevrolet brand in Russia. Today the media report that GM has agreed to sell to the Magna-led consortium, but that there are conditions attached to the sale. I find this approach somewhat strange, and wonder whether it is a smokescreen. Read more

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