Acquisition decisions are not like other decisions. In Chapter 1, Denzil and Peter point out that ‘most acquisitions fail’, and these are normally the main words of caution to managers. However, decisions with low success rates are familiar to most managers. Think of new product launches or management appointments or IT investments. Against these comparisons, success rates of 30-50 per cent seem quite normal. So the special feature of acquisitions is not their low success rate. The special feature is that acquisition decisions involve big stages and small prizes.
Campbell, A. (2006) Foreword, Acquisition Essentials, by Denzil Rankine & Peter Howson, Prentice Hall Financial Times