03:38 AM

Most Mergers Don't Work...

Chris O'Brien over at the San Jose Mercury News takes a couple of very good pot shots at acquisitions following the recent "minimerger frenzy" Of Google acquiring Admob, EA acquiring Playfish.

He says that the uncomfortable truth is that most acquisitions are failures.

And while the overall number of mergers is up, if you look at the details they are mostly divestitures, deals gone bad that are being sold off.

Bryan McLaughlin a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers told him:

In the third quarter, which ended in September, about 40 percent of the acquisition deals involved some kind of divestiture, up from 25 percent for the same period one year ago. That is, companies weren't buying smaller, stand-alone outfits; they were buying essentially the castoffs of other companies.

One of the worst companies at acquisitions:

VeriSign spent about $1.3 billion between 2004 and 2006 buying close to 20 companies. Since 2008, VeriSign has divested most of those acquisitions for about $750 million.

That loss doesn't include the money spent trying to develop those acquisitions, the distractions they caused, or the expense of trying to unload them.

The investment bankers make money coming and going, arranging and then unloading the deals.

O'Brien: Beware the hype around mergers - San Jose Mercury News