Brainfood: History lessons

AGGRESSIVE TAKEOVERS

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

BOUDICCA

What might today's manager learn from the blade-wielding, ballbreaking ancient British queen (aka Boadicea)? Well, when it comes to aggressive takeovers, the modern-day executive can take some tips from the fate of the woman who, in AD61, took on the Roman Empire. Her passion to halt the occupation of her home ground inspired a huge number of ordinary people to fight to the death. All good and noble, but she still lost. And therein lies the business lesson. Although her motley crew outnumbered the Romans, the invader's superior tactics ultimately won the day. The moral? It's difficult to halt an aggressive takeover without a masterplan. Determination helps, but the big boys will always beat you if you lack an unbeatable strategy. The recent takeover of Manchester United by US business tycoon Malcolm Glazer springs to mind. While some of the football club's fans displayed Boudiccan determination, they had no real answer to Glazer's campaign. Veni, vidi, vici ...

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