The starting point for this study was the observation that corporate divestiture is of major relevance in business practice for any firm, regardless of scope, size, age and industry. Divestitures and their sound management are becoming ever more crucial due to current developments such as M&A market trends, increasing dynamics in industry markets, pressures from capital markets, and the emergence of new strong players. However, divestiture decisions often seem to be made on an unstructured and irrational basis, lacking routines and professional management, especially when compared to M&A management for boundary-expanding moves. Firms have been found to generally divest late, or not at all, with potential divestiture proceeds decreasing in later business lifecycle phases. Europe, and especially Germany, appear to lag behind Anglo-America in terms of their use of and value creation from divestitures. Several barriers in three categories – economic and structural, strategic, and managerial – impede higher responsiveness. While managers urgently require recommendations, the contributions of Management Science have been relatively sparse.
KeywordsBusiness Unit Portfolio Management Corporate Strategy Behavioral Limitation Case Company
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