Mastering the Merger Four critical decisions that make or break the deal
Mastering the Merger
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Mastering the Merger
Bain experience
The book's authors and contributors are partners of Bain & Company, Inc., a global consulting firm, that helps many of the world's great companies develop corporate strategy. Our deal-making expertise results from our collective participation in thousands of deal discussions and analyses, across the full range of industries. Because of our firm's strategic orientation, we are often involved in deals at the very earliest stages, at a moment of creation that few outsiders get to witness, let alone participate in. We've also spent time with the private-equity community to learn how people within it earn outsized returns in efficient capital markets.

Statistical analysis
While Bain's experience serves as a strong guide, we have supplemented it with systematic analysis of the relevant data. We began by searching through 15 years' worth of data (between 1986 and 2001) from a database of the 1,700 largest publicly traded companies in six countries for a defining set of characteristics to distinguish companies that do good deals from those that do bad ones.

We also conducted niche studies aimed at exploring particular deal issues; for example how the markets react to earning per share accretion or dilution as a result of a transaction, or how companies handle the cultural aspects of merger integration.

For more on the statistical analysis, view the Research page.

We supplemented our research with in-depth interviews of executives that we thought we could learn from, both as best examples, and—phrasing it gently—as testimonies to future learning. View the list of the featured companies.

We also spent a great deal of time with the private equity community. Why? Because this is a group of highly skilled people who buy and sell businesses for a living, and because we have always been impressed by the ability of top-tier private equity players to earn outsized returns in an efficient capital market.

Manager survey
To supplement these two kinds of qualitative, in-depth interviews, we also surveyed corporate managers more generally. We conducted a survey of more than two hundred fifty executives [link to Bain study] active in deal making around the globe, asking them which decisions their companies got right, and which ones they got wrong and why, as they navigated the deal-making experience. Learn more about the survey results on the Research page.
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