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Top 10 Best and Worst Mergers of All Time!
(And what we can learn from them!)
If your company prioritizes purpose and culture, a merger can disrupt the flow. As Jack Canfield once said, “If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.” On that note, let’s take a look back in time at some of the best and worst company mergers (so we can learn together!)
The Worst Mergers of All Time
According to an article by the Harvard Business Review, over 70 to 90% of mergers and acquisitions fail. And if you sweep it under the rug, a culture clash could be to blame for the failure of your merger, too! HR bleeds into many aspects of a business, and these companies have
Wendy’s tried to pave the way in the fast-food world and failed miserably. Arby’s (another fast-food chain) acquired Wendy’s in 2008. The deal was supposed to bring them to success, surpassing the other major fast-food chains.
But at the end of the day, the merger lost profit, as the two did not have a great culture fit. Since then, Roland Smith has invested a lot of time and money to “fix” the merger, and some might call it an overall success.
Bank of America Corp.
Another merger that failed in 2008 was Bank of America Corp. (In their defense, it was during one of the biggest economic crashes to date!) CEO Ken Lewis wanted to acquire the mortgage company Countrywide. After the merger, the expenses ended up costing over 40 billion dollars. Keep in mind that they only spent $2.5 billion on the acquisition. So, we’d say they lost a lot of money on that deal…
The Best Mergers of All Time
Walt Disney Co. and Pixar
In 2007, Walt Disney acquired Pixar, which turned out to be a success! The goal behind the merger was to align similar creative brands in a united front. It was a cultural and financial success because the culture was one of the main reasons for the merger.
“With this transition, we welcome and embrace Pixar’s unique culture, which for two decades, has fostered some of the most innovative and successful films in history,” says Disney. “The talented Pixar team has delivered outstanding animation coupled with compelling stories and enduring characters that have captivated audiences of all ages worldwide and redefined the genre by setting a new standard of excellence.”
Bravo, Disney and Pixar!
AT&T and Time Warner
Another successful merger that we can all learn from was AT&T and Time Warner, who merged together in 2018. Between the two, AT&T benefited the most financially, but they both came together in a way that sustained a cultural fit. AT&T continues to merge with other companies, as they just announced a $43 billion deal with Warner Media and Discovery.
Value is not always so black and white. In many cases, the value growth of a company is a slow process—taking as long as two to three years to make full returns after the merge is complete! M&A transactions come with a lot of details that need to be figured out, this is where Culture Works can help you!
But, you can bolster your company’s value in other ways. The real value, after all, comes from fostering real conversations to learn from one another. There are many steps you can take to increase your company’s value during your merger.
Looking to create value to your company culture during an M&A? Learn more at our article highlighting the topic, then connect with us today!