Author: Carlos Keener

Interesting developments continue in the merger efforts of American Airlines and US Airways: According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Department of Justice and several states have just sued to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways, arguing that the new $11 billion airline would reduce...

Over-preparation, which usually manifests itself in extremely detailed, all-encompassing, grand plans, is a hazard that can arise particularly where integration leaders have previously burnt their fingers from  ‘being taken by surprise’ by unexpected events. Understandably, they attribute this to having been previously under-prepared, and instead...

There’s an interesting set of comments in this week’s The Economist  in an article called “Goodwill Hunting” which suggests that corporate ‘write-downs of goodwill’ mask the admission of past M&A failure. But who reads or understands the intricacies of such obscure financial numbers? A good example is HP’s ‘cathartic’ write-down of some $18bn of goodwill, effectively rolling in the Autonomy debacle as well as other past failures, e.g. Compaq. The article goes on to suggest that it generally takes about 5 years for such a failure to de-toxify. I guess at that point, directors can declare mea culpa with little backlash on the basis that they were probably not at the helm when the original acquisition took place (Autonomy may be an exception but we wait and see).