The Basics of Mergers and
Over the past few decades, we have seen countless examples of companies, such as General Electric, Google, and Cisco, that have grown dramatically and built revenues through aggressive acquisition programs. Seasoned executives and entrepreneurs have always searched for efficient and profitable ways to increase revenues and gain market share. The typical strategic growth options are as follows: organic, inorganic, or by external means. Examples of organic growth are hiring additional salespeople, developing new products, and expanding geographically. The best example of inorganic growth is an acquisition of another firm, something that is often done to gain access to a new product line, customer segment, or geography. Finally, external revenue growth opportunities are franchising, licensing, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and the appointment of overseas distributors, which are available to growing companies as an alternative to mergers and acquisitions as a growth engine. Figure 1-1 discusses the benefits of organic versus other forms of growth.
This book focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a means of growing, although toward the end of the book certain external means are explored as well.
The terms merger and acquisition are often confused or used interchangeably. It is important to understand the difference between the