Skip to main content Skip to Footer


Carve-outs: The new darling of M&A?

Why companies should be just as focused on selling a business as buying one


Carve-outs are becoming an important strategic tool

Companies that make a strategic decision to jettison parts of their business lines that, while strong, are no longer a key area of focus are rewarded handsomely. However, such moves typically don’t get much attention within many organizations. Too often, companies consider carve-outs only when they feel a part of its business has become too weak or troubled to keep. As a result, they either miss out on opportunities to create significant value, actively destroy value, or both. Six key actions can help companies create more value from carve-outs and, in the process, boost their competitiveness.


Key Findings

According to Accenture Strategy research, 83 percent of companies now consider carve-outs to be an important strategic tool to drive competitiveness in the next three to five years. However, they’re still set up for carve-out failure: While one in two companies have some best practices they apply in carve-out projects, they lack the requisite skills, standard methodologies, and tools required to effectively execute them. These shortcomings lead to massive delays and budget overruns: Sixty-five percent of companies Accenture surveyed were unable to complete carve-out projects on time, and 67 percent couldn’t meet carve-out budgets. Such poor execution can erode the selling price and increase costs which, in turn, destroys value and frustrates shareholders.



While there’s no master formula for successfully planning and executing a carve-out, six key actions can improve a company’s chances for success:

1. Defining the boundaries of what’s being carved out and its future relationship with ParentCo

2. Articulating a clear direction for the project—including time and budget—and what’s expected on Day 1

3. Ensuring NewCo has the functions, processes, and infrastructure to operate efficiently after the carve-out

4. Fostering strong NewCo-ParentCo collaboration and communication to minimize conflicts in objectives

5. Promoting close cooperation between the deal team and the carve-out team

6. Supporting the project’s execution with strong carve-out skills, methodologies and tools

Sven Wahle

Sven Wahle

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy

Email LinkedIn