Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Corporate cow-tipping for fun and profit

My weekly book post on s+b's blogs is about a new book recounting the modern era of hostile takeovers:

Corporate Raiders and Their Minions: A History

The badly tarnished reputation of the financial sector could use some polish, but don’t bother looking
for it in John Weir Close’s A Giant Cow-Tipping by Savages: The Boom, Bust, and Boom Culture of M&A (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). The book, a social history of contemporary M&A, is light on strategies and mechanics, but it’s loaded with dish. And therein lies the fun.

There’s no mention of serial corporate acquirers such as Cisco and Johnson & Johnson here. Close, the founder and editor of The M&A Journal, a pricey insider’s newsletter, focuses exclusively on corporate raiders and their investment bankers and lawyers. Together, starting in the 1970s and accelerating through the 1980s, they transformed the face of M&A—from a gentile corporate pursuit in which an unwelcome bid was considered bad form into pitched battles of the sort described in Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco (Harper Business, 1990).

The raiders who Close describes are colorful, to say the the rest here

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