Granada's acquisition of Forte bucked the trend toward deals being driven by 'focus'. In this case, it was a matter of who was likely to be the better manager. The result was never really in doubt: Gerry Robinson has made a lot of investors a lot of money and Sir Rocco Forte hasn't. Robinson will now allocate Forte's assets differently and change and motivate certain key managers. That these things should require a takeover looks Neanderthal if the aim is to increase shareholder value. True, the reward package required to attract the best management would have been unfashionably large, even if a chunk of it were related to subsequent performance. But it would be as nothing compared to the £200 million-plus cost of the takeover. Besides, if performance doesn't improve, performance-related bonuses don't get paid. As it is, if Forte's performance under new management fails to improve, we can be sure that the fees incurred by the takeover aren't going to be paid back.
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