Divided today, united tomorrow. The boom of a spin-off of the American giants could exceed last year’s level and 196 cases in 2012. Not only that. This tendency is causing the appetite in the market for acquisitions in 2015. A surge of operations that could rivals that seen this year is at stake: 2.300 billion in mergers and acquisitions on a global scale, a peak never reached in the last seven years. And the phenomenon spans a vast range, from beverage to online payments, from big companies to construction.
According to analysts, the spin-off has become “one of the most popular techniques” to increase the value of the company. Why? Companies, splitting into two or more units, offer the market more accessible and profitable prey for acquisitions. It would be a case of Pepsi, hounded by its investors to separate the “most fruitful” snacks division from the rest of the group. It will sound like heresy to those who love the brand, but the Frito-Lay fries have buoyed the financial statements of the company in the quarters marked by the dropping sales of carbonated soft drinks in the United States.
Among the potential buyers Anheuser-Busch InBev has also spoken, the brewing giant which has already got its hands on brands like Leffe, Stella Artois and Budweiser. After a ‘shopping jag’ costing 90 billion between 2008 and today, AB InBev is studying the incorporation of the historic rival of Coca-Cola to expand into the business of soft drinks.
The latest news protagonist spin-off mining giant BHP Billiton, the pharmaceutical Bayer AG and the asset management Blackstone Group. But the trend is dominated by technology companies. The split between eBay and its online payment system PayPal has made the two companies that will come out “attractive” for Web giants such as Google and Alibaba.
The top eBay denied that the operation was aimed at attracting buyers. But it is no secret that the operation will “increase of the value” of PayPal, a self-governed society, by the end of 2015. The subsidiary, in 2013 alone, saw revenues increase of 20% to 6.6 billion dollars; 41% of eBay sales and 41% of its profits.
Hewlett-Packard has followed the same trend, announcing spinning off the division that produces computers and printers. The goal is to focus on hardware and software, following a “diet” started with the staff reduce: chief executive Meg Whitman plans to cut on from 11,000 to 16,000 redundancies on over 317,000 employees serving the company in Palo Alto (California).