Secure Reads: Mergers and Acquisitions Security

Read a review of the security book Mergers and Acquisitions Security.

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Mergers and Acquisitions Security
By Edward P. Halibozek and Dr. Gerald L. Kovacich
Elsevier, 250 pages, $39.95

Rarely a week goes by without some company merging with or buying another firm. Security managers play a complicated triple role in the process, providing security services to the acquisition team, helping to evaluate the effectiveness of the target company's security program and integrating the two security organizations.

@exb

Mergers and Acquisitions Security
@exe In Mergers and Acquisitions Security: Corporate Restructuring and Security Management, Edward Halibozek and Gerald Kovacich bring these roles to light, if in a roundabout way, and show how security managers are integral parts of the merger and acquisition (M&A) process.

This is not a book about computer security-- the intended audience is the security executive who oversees physical and IT security. But there is good information for those security pros who lack experience with this type of expansion. Charts, bullet points, case studies and discussions of the business drivers behind M&As clear up the finer points. As topics progress through the various phases of the M&A process, the authors include several sample security documents and checklists that put their ideas into context.

The value of Mergers and Acquisitions Security comes in its section on the uses and challenges of personnel protection (your M&A team members may experience personal risk, and dealing with this risk effectively is necessary if they are to do their work). The authors do a good job of identifying and explaining what you can expect from the protector and the protected.

Sadly, most of the good information is buried under bad writing. Organizationally, the book is a mess. Topics are repeated, and the order of the chapters within each section is a bit off. For example, "Why Premerger and Acquisition Security Support?" is the second chapter in the premerger section, and follows a chapter on how to perform a competitive analysis; a more logical organization would have started with the "why" material. The authors also take a long time to get to the point, so much so that it's possible to glaze over entire paragraphs without missing anything. Fortunately, the most important items are listed in bullet points or callouts; skimming helps you to get the critical information.

If you're in business, the chances are good that your organization will one day buy, or be bought by, another company. Mergers and Acquisitions Security is a good, if long-winded, guide to your future role as a participant in the complex world of mergers and acquisitions.

--DAVID BIANCO

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This was first published in December 2005
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