May 23 - Reynolds Holding and Breakingviews editors say tech giants like Facebook and Amazon can learn a lot from legendary M&A impresario Harold Geneen and ITT.
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We don't often get to talk about Harold -- here at breaking news but the -- impresario who turned ITT. Conglomerate some. Fifteen years ago. Seems to have some errors and Silicon Valley and rob Cox you more about this tell us what we can learn from mr. Japanese will also -- took this ITT which had a bunch telecoms assets from him about the world right. They were in danger of losing a lot of facets of Cuba Sheila if I hear it there expropriated these assets and thought okay. The board gets in this opportunities and now you need to diversify and find another way to keep us and from being completely obsolete or so in 1960s he did something like fifty deals. He age grew ITT in the ninth largest industrial corporation America by 1971. And he had many pretenders he had gulf and western Charles -- -- -- it LTV. A whole bunch other ones that is the same thing and and it worked pretty well because they were -- fine. Buying companies -- the value left less than they -- so you have this in this this great opportunity of for ten years to Canada. You know -- creative -- emanate. But it just occurred to us and looking at some of these Internet conglomerate uncle conglomerate that's at this point you know Alibaba. Google. FaceBook and some of the deals they've been doing look to be very similar in in two respects one they're buying assets and companies that aren't necessarily keep -- there are part of their core business. And there's a certain peer obsolescence strike Richard what are some -- Apple's. Well I mean you can -- Hugo by companies all kinds of places FaceBook as well. Populous references in the the virtual reality -- late. What's that is you know you could say. Massaging things a little closer. But all these things -- -- the face -- -- a few years ago generally sees success but even so the times seem like well they need to -- advocate is defendant's family that -- the result is there -- going on FaceBook and out of them and and I will say I mean we haven't yet on any of these guys as far as we know collaborating with the CIA to bring out our government just when it's easier to do. It was not something I entity was to it and I would like since he had to -- entertainers have a lot of high on back and they haven't had a lot of that citadel also I think you can make an argument that -- -- -- stuff Google's doing this as a kind of very -- which is everybody's data everywhere Edmonton everything right. And you can make it sound sinister if you put it altogether but that there is at least the humans and some of what they do -- is. Is kind of risk taking of what you might think of the good time you know investing in stuff that may -- is. Is the thing companies -- to do so yeah there's some robotics. And what are some of the stuff his qualities potentially a little different from just. -- financial -- machine. But but you know it. Take it a little further and you could start to see that. I don't work out for ITT. Well what about what's the lesson here that's actually got an opportunity to speak to Felix right now remember this tonight or grandmaster ever and the day that the successor to seventies. At Lazard and -- comes into work there by the way advises that CEOs company anyway. So Felix did basically every deal for Harold and he was the banker house anchor -- under in my -- -- view is it worked out pretty well because the markets helped. You know that they did their stock prices were high. They're buying low you know companies -- lower asset prices. And that all worked until it is when it when it stopped happening based and it -- in the mix -- -- of bear market. Everything everything well few people came up and a lot of them really came crashing down -- insult -- Interesting stuff will keep an eye on what happens -- these new Silicon Valley. Conglomerates in the meantime stay tuned for more breaking news.