Gods at War: Shotgun Takeovers, Government by Deal, and the Private Equity Implosion

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9780470431290: Gods at War: Shotgun Takeovers, Government by Deal, and the Private Equity Implosion
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An engaging exploration of modern-day deals and deal-making

Gods at War details the recent deals and events that have forever changed the world of billion-dollar deal-making. This book is a whirlwind tour of the players determining the destiny of corporate America, including the government, private equity, strategic buyers, hedge funds, and sovereign wealth funds.

It not only examines many of the game-changing takeover events that have occurred in the past years, but also puts them into context and exposes what is really going on behind the scenes on Wall Street. Gods at War completely covers the strategic issues that guide the modern-day deal, and since they unfold under the shadow of the law, it also focuses on the legal aspects of deal-making and takeovers.

  • Each chapter unfolds through the lens of a recent transaction, from the battle between Yahoo! and Microsoft to the United Rental/Cerberus dispute
  • Provides in-depth explanations and analysis of the events and actors that have shaped this fast-moving field
  • Examines the federal government's regulation by deal approach to saving the financial system and explains the government's biggest "deals", including its bail-outs of AIG, Bank of America, and Citigroup

Filled with in-depth insights that will enhance your understanding of this field, Gods at War offers an engaging look at deals and deal-makers in the context of recent historical events. It's a book for those who want to understand deals, takeovers, and the people and institutions who shape our world.

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From the Inside Flap:

While the financial community looks to regain its footing, dealmakers will continue to do what they've always done—structure deals that drive the fate of corporate America. With powerful professionals competing to create and close better deals, these executives, like gods, will determine the future of companies and our economy.

Author Steven Davidoff understands both the intricacies of these deals and the forces driving them. Writing as "The Deal Professor" for the New York Times "DealBook," he provides daily commentary on the latest takeover news and has become a nationally known authority on this fast-moving field. Now, with Gods at War, Davidoff introduces you to this trillion-dollar business—from private equity and government to hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds—and reveals the recent events that have changed the way the game is played.

Gods at War is the definitive story of deal-making. Opening with an engaging look at the evolution of this discipline, the book quickly moves into the modern era—where deal-making has become a truly global endeavor—and works its way through the current financial crisis and beyond. Page by page, it skillfully details:

  • The private equity boom and its implosion

  • The return of the strategic transaction and hostile takeover

  • The failure of the investment banking model

  • The government's deal-making during the recent financial crisis

  • And much more

Each chapter unfolds through the lens of recent events, from the battle between Yahoo! and Microsoft to the United Rentals/Cerberus dispute. Along the way, you'll also become familiar with the federal government's regulation by deal approach to saving the financial system—which included the serial bailouts of AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, and others. In describing the dynamic events of this period, Davidoff not only reveals how deals are accomplished in modern capital markets, but he also details the transformation that the takeover marketplace is undergoing and its prospects for the future. In doing so, he puts forth a definitive view and theory of deals and deal-making.

The financial revolution, globalization, and financial crises have permanently changed deal-making—creating perils and opportunities for both dealmakers and regulators. With Gods at War as your guide, you'll gain a better understanding of this discipline and discover the various events, individuals, and institutions that continue to shape this competitive arena.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Gods at War

"Gods at War brilliantly analyzes the legal issues, the politics, and the players in high-profile merger and acquisition transactions. Steven Davidoff is a master of the tactics and rules of deal-making, and he has once again shown why he is one of the country's most respected legal writers."—Rob Kindler, Vice Chairman and Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley

"In Gods at War, Steven Davidoff, aka The Deal Professor, delivers a detailed and lucid treatise of the fascinating historical precedents that resulted in the frenzied deal-making activity that ended abruptly with our current financial crisis and then goes on, in impressive fashion, to discuss what deals will look like in a new era dominated by government ownership and a lack of acquisition financing. Deal practitioners—and those just curious about all the fuss—will want this book at the top of their reading list."—William D. Cohan, author of House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street and The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co.

"Davidoff is one of the most insightful and perceptive minds in the world of deal-making. With an ability to distill the most complicated legal issues into clear prose, he has become a must-read inside the nation's boardrooms and corner offices."—Andrew Ross Sorkin, Editor of The New York Times's "DealBook" and author of Too Big to Fail

"Where will M&A go next? Any answer depends on an understanding of the merger wave of 2002–8, which this book affords. Rich in fresh insights, carefully researched, and well written, Gods at War gives a threshold to the future of M&A. I commend it to students, practitioners, and fans of high finance."—Robert F. Bruner, Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, author of Deals from Hell: M&A Lessons that Rise Above the Ashes, and coauthor of The Panic of 1907

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