Last year was a banner year for merger and acquisition (M&A)activity around the world. In the first three-quarters of the year,global M&A deals reached US$3.3 trillion and cross-border dealshit $1.3 trillion. In 2019, organizations that are flush with cashmay be tempted to continue this trend by jumping on the firstpromising acquisition opportunity that comes their way. However, ashort-sighted approach to deal-making is unlikely to help a companymaximize long-term value.

Gartner recently took a look at the practices of companies thatwe've termed “efficient growth leaders”—organizations that havedemonstrated consistent long-term growth compared with theirindustry peers—to learn what they're doing differently when itcomes to M&A. The answer is that they take a more purposeful,bold, and strategic approach to these deals.

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