Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Mind of the Strategist - by Kenichi Ohmae

A classic text on strategy, as relevant today as it was when written. The most insightful parts:
- Analysis as the starting point for strategy formulation and its use in dissecting complex phenomena into its constituent parts
- Concept of the key success factors - In any industry or situation, the identification of the few key aspects that define success and the need for relentless focus on these
- How changing fixed & variable cost structures necessitate different strategies - varying from the focus on utilization to the focus on waste minimization & effective planning

While most of these aspects are common knowledge to any student of strategy/consulting, their lucid explanation and clear methodology make the book a necessary refresher

Monday, November 20, 2006

The largest LBO in history

The Blackstone Group acquires Equity Office Properties Trust, USA's largest office-building owner & manager for $36 billion: Blackstone Acquiring Trust in Richest Buyout

"Under the transaction, Equity Office will go from being a publicly held company to a private one. Blackstone will pay $20 billion and assume $16 billion in debt.

...The deal will make Blackstone, which was founded in 1985 by Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A. Schwarzman, one of the nation’s largest owners of real estate.

...Blackstone will move ahead of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, which led the H.C.A. sale....This year alone, Blackstone has bought $20 billion worth of real estate, or 7 percent of all acquisitions. It has been involved in more REIT buyouts and mergers than any other company."