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The 50 Best (and Worst) Business Deals Of All Time

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The 50 Best (and Worst) Business Deals Of All Time

Career Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

If you are too nice, too eager, too extravagant, too unprepared, too arrogant, too shortsighted or too hidebound, you could commit a very bad business deal. Here’s how to end up in the “Best” column, instead of the “Worst.”

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Michael Craig, a securities attorney, describes the basis for success or failure in 50 big money business deals. He examines the strategy, risks and personality dynamics involved. Craig highlights 10 rules for success he gleaned by observing patterns in these deals, rules you can apply to your own business transactions. This well-crafted book groups several deals to illustrate each rule, although many of the deals reflect several principles. At the end of each story, the author recaps the lesson at hand and explains what went right or wrong. While executives, company owners, and those who do deals for them will find this book especially valuable, getAbstract also recommends it to general readers, who will enjoy reading these inside accounts of well-publicized deals.


The 10 Rules for Success in Deal Making

Michael Craig was always fascinated by big business deals and the money, strategy, risks and personalities evolved. In the late 1980s, he became involved in deal making during the contested takeover of Roper, an appliance maker. The bitter fight began after GE made a higher hostile bid than Whirlpool, which had a friendly deal with Roper. Eventually, GE and Whirlpool carved up Roper, but while everyone "won," the process was highly irrational.

As Craig watched this apparently chaotic process play out in deal after deal, he found that certain people and certain methods usually won, while certain strategies usually lost. As he perceived patterns, he supplemented his observations with extensive research. Although many factors are at play, he identified 10 basic rules that substantially shape the success of a deal. The deals described below each demonstrate at least one of the 10 rules, although most illustrate more than one. The rules are:

  1. Focus on your strengths.
  2. Take advantage of your adversary’s weakness.
  3. Find value where others don’t see it.
  4. Don’t get caught up in wanting.
  5. Innovate.

About the Author

Michael Craig writes about big business and high finance for Online Investor and other magazines. He previously worked as a class action lawyer and spent 15 years as a litigator in cases involving large business deals as well as complex securities and consumer class actions.

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