LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A lot to learn from past acquisitions

To the Editor:

Your stories in recent weeks about the possibility of large acquisitions in the supplier community bring to mind the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Our industry has contemplated major acquisitions in the past, and on balance they have failed. Rosy projections of market access, economies of scale and product synergies never materialized because of unforeseen events -- typically, industry volumes dropping or difficulty integrating disparate cultures. Industry-leading companies were never the same and continue to deal with legacy issues today.

CEOs would be wise to study the past successes and failures of large acquisitions to ensure that their plans serve the long-term interests of their customers, shareholders, employees and the community.

TIM HICKS

TCH Consulting

Wheaton, Ill.

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