When to Use M&A for Growth – Prof. Laurence Capron’s Presentation Available

The Geneva Chapter of the INSEAD Alumni Association Switzerland hosted an evening conference, entitled “Build, [pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”When is M&A the right answer to your growth challenges? [/pullquote]Borrow, Buy”, on Thursday May 15, 2014. Attended by more than 50 alumni and special guests, the event featured groundbreaking M&A research by INSEAD Prof. Laurence Capron (pictured right) and a dynamic six-person strong panel discussion amongst healthcare industry executives and corporate finance professionals. She answered the question, “When is M&A the right answer to your growth challenges?”

Prof Laurence Capron, INSEAD

Prof Laurence Capron, INSEAD

The Geneva Chapter has made her presentation available to Alumni here.  Prof. Laurence Capron described the effect of M&A activities on share prices of companies in a range of industries, as well as the effect on the acquired companies, concluding with data-backed suggestions about when and how to use M&A to drive the growth of a business.

Laurence Capron also moderated the panel discussion with Marvelle Sullivan, Head of Global M&A Novartis, Michèle Ollier, LifeSciences, Partner, Index Ventures, Jean-Pierre Rosat, CEO, Aleva NeuroTherapeutics, Alex Schmitz, VP Business Development, Biosensors International, Daniel Kubitza, Executive Director UBS, and Thimo Sommerfeld, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Abolon Group.

The panelists shared real life lessons learned in executing buy, borrow, and build strategies. Marvelle Sullivan shared her M&A experience at Novartis, mentioning that capturing value was key and that the deal team had to prepare its case on how value was being captured before any due diligence could begin. Michèle Ollier elaborated on the human factor in build strategies, explaining that it was essential to achieve growth in her portfolio companies. Each portfolio company that achieved growth succeeded to recruit the right people. They exhibited an open and challenging mind to identify and find new growth levers.

Jean-Pierre Rosat, a serial entrepreneur, explained the challenges of being the target of an acquisition in the healthcare field. He stressed the importance of preparing the team for a potential acquisition early on, as well as being careful to not be seduced by big corporates and not starting collaboration with big firms without a clear roadmap and terms of the partnership.Alex Schmitz described how his employer, BioSensors, used all three growth modes: build, borrow, buy, in its development phase. Daniel Kubitza also discussed human factor in the development of projects, while Thimo Sommerfeld spoke on the role of private equity in healthcare deals.


Laurence Capron is a Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and co-author of Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma (Harvard Business Review Press), an award-winning book that examines how companies can select and balance different modes of growth: organic growth (build), licensing and alliances (borrow) and M&A (buy) to outperform.. She is also the Paul Desmarais Chaired Professor of Partnership and Active Ownership and also directs the “M&As and Corporate Strategy” Executive Education Programme at INSEAD.