The Rules of James Farrell's Game

Illinois Tool Works' CEO explains how he has handled more than 200 acquisitions since 1995. In his case, unorthodox methods pay dividends

When a company plans an acquisition these days, the role model typically is General Electric. For good reason. GE has the merger game down pat. It begins by homing in on core operations. Then, to achieve unsurpassed economies of scale, it buys market share to solidify the No. 1 or 2 spot in its chosen fields, preferably on a global scale. All the while, GE is ruthless in cost-cutting. The company consolidates everything it can into centralized operations, enabling it to do away with scads of jobs at each of its new acquisitions.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.