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Merger of equals?

Merger of equals?

The news about the merger of Joie de Vivre and Thompson got me thinking about past mergers, what makes for a good one and what makes for a bad one. Here are my thoughts:
 
Good ideas
  • When one company complements another in terms of segment (Marriott-Courtyard, Hilton-Promus)
  • When geography works well together (Hilton-Hilton International, New World-Rosewood)
  • When talents mesh (Rezidor-Carlson)
  • When financial performance is accretive (Park Place-Harrahs, MGM-Mirage)
  • When one company dominates the transaction (Hyatt-Candlewood, Starwood-ITT)
Bad ideas
  • Merger of equals (AOL-Time Warner)
  • Synergies that never happen (United-Continental)
  • The clash of cultures (Marriott-Ritz-Carlton)
  • Businesses that don’t fit (Cendant-Avis)
  • Co-CEOs (AOL-Time Warner, Citigroup)
I wish principals of both Joie de Vivre and Thompson the best of luck with their transaction but encourage them to learn from past successes and mistakes made at the merger table.
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