Greatest Acquisition of All Time

Long time listener, first time caller. Searched through the forums to no avail. What do you consider the greatest acquisition of all time? Can be corporate, government, whatever. A few that come to mind.

  • Google purchasing Youtube in 2005 for $1.65B (Valued at $160B earlier this year - MS)
  • Facebook purchasing Instagram in 2012 for $1B in cash and stock (Valued at $100B earlier this year)
  • The Louisiana Purchase - $15M in 1803

What others come to mind?

Cheers,

Will

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Comments (25)

Nov 19, 2018 - 2:04pm

Pretty sure you mean our lord and savior Josh Gordon

"I did it for me...I liked it...I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive."
Nov 20, 2018 - 7:46am

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Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
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Nov 19, 2018 - 4:27pm

TPG's acquisition of MEMC has to go on the list. Paid $6.00 (not $6 million, $6.00) and $200 million of assumed debt, ten years later completed their exit with somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion.

  • 5
Nov 21, 2018 - 1:01pm

Think we might have a winner

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
Nov 20, 2018 - 7:47am

Some sort of fruit company

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
  • 1
Nov 21, 2018 - 1:40pm

I like to think of "Best" as the absolute worst and most horrible. In this regard, it has to be Microsoft's purchase of Nokia for almost $8bn in 2014.

Hot off the heels of watching the Microsoft phone fail while Apple and Android phones succeed, Steve Ballmer, current owner of the LA Clippers and then CEO of Microsoft, had the bright idea to purchase Nokia, who was going through their own mobile phone slump. Together they produced the Lumia line of phones, which never gained any traction.

End result, Ballmer "resigned" from Microsoft and 15,000 Nokia employees were let go in efforts to "streamline" the Company.

Nov 21, 2018 - 5:31pm

Google - YouTube wins for the current economy in terms of a bargain for the acquirer.

Array
Most Helpful
Nov 21, 2018 - 9:32pm

I'd say Disney and Google are the best corporate deal-makers. In addition to buying the Star Wars franchise through the acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 Billion, Disney also bought Marvel in 2009 for $4 Billion and Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 Billion. I ask you, what would Disney be without those acquisitions? It would have theme parks and Mickey Mouse merchandise, but those acquisitions were business-defining events for the company. This is why Bob Iger gets the benefit of the doubt from most equity analysts when they consider the Fox deal.

For the record, I don't like the Fox deal. It is enormous--10 times the size of the Pixar deal. Sure, it largely completes the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Fox had rights to X-men and Fantastic Four), but deals of this size rarely work well. They're also quite rare, so there isn't a large enough sample to make a meaningful statistical inference. Still, it's a risky move for Disney. They essentially want to own the space of content creation and from there start to own the distribution of their content through their own streaming service ("Disney+"--top work marketing team). The strategy makes sense, but I think you can buy a lot of other content for $70 Billion.

As for Google, while the YouTube acquisition was a huge win, I think the acquisition of Android was an even better buy. Google allegedly bought Android for $50 million in 2005. That was Google's foray into the mobile market. If they hadn't made that acquisition, Google wouldn't be the company it is today. In terms of outright return on investment, the TPG acquisition of MEMC is obviously better, but turnaround situations always have the most potential upside (if you acquire something for a penny and sell it for a positive number, the IRR will be huge). Corporate deal-making is harder than PE deal-making, though, and I like that Android acquisition muy mucho.

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