Making the Deal Real: How GE Capital Integrates Acquisitions

by Ronald N. Ashkenas, Lawrence J. DeMonaco and Suzanne C. Francis, Harvard Business Review, January-February 1998.

Harvard Business Review Thousands of companies every year acquire other companies, or are acquired themselves. This event is usually painful and messy--and statistics show, it is frequently unsuccessful as well. Nearly half of all mergers fail. Integrating acquisitions has traditionally been seen as a series of one-time tasks. This article argues that it should be viewed as a manageable process that can be codified and improved over time. One company that has made a fine art of the acquisition integration process is GE Capital, which has integrated hundreds of companies in the past decade.  The authors provide four critical lessons and a process framework for aiding integration efforts.


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