In the announcement of TRIP’s CFO’s resignation there was a mention that during her four year tenure TRIP made 17 acquisitions. Years ago I was invested in a funeral services company that was busy acquiring mom and pop undertakers. CISCO, Litton, ITT, and Berkshire-Hathaway among others have a long history of acquisitions. GE has been acquiring and shedding businesses for ever.
Some like Litton and ITT have disappeared, some like CISCO have gone nowhere for years and others like GE and Berkshire-Hathaway are doing just fine (GE after a few bumps on the road). Organic vs. M&A depends on how it’s done. Buffett does it well. Bank of America was on an empire building rampage that I certainly didn’t like.
It’s interesting that many German firms like to stay mid-sized (Mittelstand). For private business staying the same size is fine but investors want their public companies to grow and reward growth handsomely. Investors not interested in growth go for “fixed income” securities.