Creating value through acquisitions has proven to be a perilous strategy. Often, the seller knows more about the business and its markets than the buyer. This asymmetrical knowledge can cause the buyer to over pay and result in the destruction of large amounts of shareholder value. How does one avoid costly strategic misreads when completing acquisitions? The answer lies in recognizing what you are buying, understanding how it fits into your overall strategy, and carefully developing your post-acquisition plan.