NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Amid an environment comprised of rapid innovation, high price expectations, activist campaigns and robust capital markets, wooing attractive takeover targets oftentimes comes down to factors well beyond the offer price, said Cisco Systems' (CSCO) Susan McDonough.
"The empowered startup is not in desperate need of cash," said McDonough, Cisco's vice president of corporate development operations and integration, at The Deal Economy Event at the Nasdaq Exchange on Thursday afternoon. "They really have perspective and want to know what we're bringing to the table beyond cash."
Of San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco's more than 170 acquisitions large and small - including its $2.7 billion blockbuster purchase of network security software maker Sourcefire. that it completed on Oct. 8, 2013 - McDonough has been involved on more than 70. Cisco, which completed eight acquisitions in fiscal 2014 totaling $3.18 billion, was among companies selected for an annual Corporate Dealmakers award Thursday night in New York City.
As technology companies such as Symantec (SYMC) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) increasingly announce plans to split up, McDonough stressed that companies "should hold the bar very high when they consider a breakup ... [including] potential synergies lost and the distractions it can cause." She indicated that the company will continue to execute its aggressive M&A strategy as it seeks opportunities worldwide.
Richard McPhail, senior vice president of finance at Home Depot (HD) , was among the group of participants speaking on the Corporate Dealmaker Update panel who also spoke to the challenges relating to high expectations of potential targets.