Alex Lennane has written in the Loadstar about the merger or assimilation of six UK diverse logistics firms under one management. Perhaps this is what’s necessary to get firms to work together– a bigger hammer. If they cannot learn to do it on their own, let’s put them together under one management.
However, this approach is fraught with issues. Most mergers do not reach the state of grace they envisioned, because of resistance to change within. And much of the value of a firm is in its people, and their skills at dealing with the countless exceptions that mark any business. Another is the heterogeneity of the businesses– every firm in a merger thinks their way of doing something has to work that way for them. It might not be true, or it might, but even thinking it draws boundaries that can take considerable effort to crack.
We will have to see if this new management structure generates rewards the size the PE firm expects. Of course if they just make something big enough to sell publicly with temporary results, that will be enough for them to make their money and pass the risk on.