Tyco - M&A Machine

By Nathan Blair, Maureen McNichols
2009 | Case No. A202
Dennis Kozlowski took over the helm of Tyco International, Ltd. (Tyco) in 1992. By the end of its 2001 fiscal year, Kozlowski’s Tyco had made over 100 announced acquisitions with total revenues in excess of $30 billion (Exhibit 1). Kozlowski’s strategy, called “growth on growth,” fueled Tyco’s aggressive approach toward acquisitions and took the company from just over $3 billion of sales in 1992 to $36 billion in 2001. Investors supported Tyco’s strategy as evidenced by the tenfold increase in Tyco’s stock price over the same period (Exhibit 2). Analysts also lauded Tyco, issuing reports with titles like, “The Proof Is in the Great Numbers! Buy.” But was the proof really there? This case describes Tyco Corporation’s mergers and acquisitions activity from its founding through the Kozlowski era. In particular, it focuses on accounting practices used in concert with M&A activity that served to manipulate Tyco’s earnings. It goes into detail regarding the CIT acquisition.
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