Tackling the top divestiture challenges


October 18, 2012 16:00 GMT

October 18, 2012 17:00 GMT

Duration: 01:00


Live video broadcast from: New York

Companies are increasingly using divestitures to raise capital and increase shareholder value.

However, these transactions often garner less value than anticipated because of two key challenges:

  1. Communicating with stakeholders. Companies often struggle with balancing transaction confidentiality versus deal progress. Their communication strategy affects their bottom line and revolves around employee, productivity and morale as well as client retention and shareholder confidence.
  2. Understanding potential buyer synergies. To attract bidder interest and enhance valuations, companies have to target the right buyer pool, understand what type of information to share with strategic versus financial bidders and effectively communicate potential bidder synergies related to infrastructure, products and other critical aspects of the business.

Join a panel of leading corporate executives as they share their insights and experiences in tackling these top divestment challenges.


George Brooks

Ernst & Young LLP

George Brooks is a partner in the Performance & Rewards practice of Ernst & Young LLP based in Pittsburgh PA. He is the Global Human Capital Transactions Leader for the global EY organization. In his role, George is responsible for the development and deployment of transactions professionals and methodology for the global Human Capital practice.

George has 24 years experience and advises clients through complex human resource initiatives in global transactions. George has significant experience with numerous multinational transactions including carve-outs, mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and restructuring. He organizes global teams and advises clients with total compensation systems, workforce integration, retention, communications, cost reduction, employment transfer, and HR service delivery. His experience spans due diligence, negotiations, day one readiness and post merger integration.

George has a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in accounting from Canisius College and a Juris Doctor degree from State University of New York at Buffalo. George is a CPA licensed in New York and Pennsylvania as well as a member of the New York State Bar.

Mitchell Berlin

Ernst & Young LLP

Mitchell Berlin is a partner in EY's Operational Transformation Services practice and has been with the firm since 1993. He has led advisory projects, spin-offs, carve-outs and integrations spanning over 50 countries, including an international assignment in Munich, Germany. Mitch has significant process experience in finance, accounting, sales operations, integration planning and execution projects primarily focused in the financial services industry.

John Bellizzi

Thomson Reuters

John Bellizzi is the Global Head of Corporate Development for Thomson Reuters. John has been with Thomson Reuters for 22 years and he currently manages all of the corporation's divestitures. Most of his career at Thomson Reuters has been in business development but John has also held senior positions in finance and business operations. He has also worked in various industries in finance positions for companies like Avon, Eli Lilly, Pepsi-Cola and Paramount Publishing.


Jeffrey Greene

Ernst & Young LLP

Jeffrey Greene is the Global and Americas Transactions Leader for EY's Life Sciences Sector. His prior EY roles include Global Vice Chair-Corporate Finance, US National Director for Corporate Finance, US National Director for Valuation, and Americas Markets Leader for Divestitures. With more than 25 years of transaction experience, he supports global companies with their due diligence, tax integration, carve-out and valuation needs. Jeff provides strategic valuation advice in divestitures, acquisitions, financings and restructurings. He is a recognized expert witness in federal, district, bankruptcy and tax courts on valuation, fairness and solvency matters.

Jeff has spoken and written on portfolio management, valuation, solvency, due diligence and performance measurement. Among his recent articles: Inside a Carve-out: How Bristol-Myers Executed Three Divestitures, Optimizing the Corporate Portfolio in a Buyer's Market, Toward World-Class Divestitures, and The Valuation-Savvy Pharma Enterprise.

Jeff received an MBA from the Harvard Business School with a concentration in finance and international business, and a BA in physics from Dartmouth College, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He is on the Board of Trustees of Adelphi University and is a member of the Finance and Academic Affairs Committees, and past chair of the Audit Committee. Jeff is also a member of the editorial advisory board of Valuation Strategies, has participated on the faculty of National Investor Relations Institute and Practising Law Institute seminars, and moderated panels for BIO and the Conference Board