Breaking Up Becomes De Rigueur for Big Companies
Breakups of corporate conglomerates have become the new fashion, and CEOs of many big and disparate companies now are having to consider the possibility of splitting up their enterprises even if they have resisted the idea before.
The latest such move was made by Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who decided to split the venerable but troubled IT giant into two companies, one consisting of its slow personal-computer and printer businesses, and the other selling faster-growing computer services, data-storage gear, software, consulting operations and other services for corporate-technology departments.
“Corporations around the world have spun off $1.6 trillion worth of
subsidiaries and business lines so far this year.”
It was a major move, but such gambits have become increasingly popular as hedge funds and other investors now are pressing companies to part ways with slower-growing operations and focusing their efforts on the most promising ones as shareholders seek to take advantage of bullish markets and inoculate themselves on the down side. Corporations around the world have spun off $1.6 trillion worth of subsidiaries and business lines so far this year, just behind the record-setting pace of 2007, according to Dealogic.