Most studies suggest that when it comes to the "M&A game," acquirers generally lose. If the odds of success are so poor, why do acquisitions remain such a core component of corporate growth strategies? This article breaks down the acquisition process and demonstrates the many requirements for value creating acquisitions. The three drivers of success, Analytical, Process, and Behavioral are discussed in detail and the most common pitfalls that managers encounter are identified. The overconfidence demonstrated in many acquisitions can be replaced by informed appreciation of M&A opportunities and a greater likelihood of "beating the odds."

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