Remix Strategy interview at TheStreet

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Remixes in music are common when artists want to explore new styles. On Wall Street, the remixing of assets through mergers and creative alliances helps companies expand by introducing new ideas, said Ben Gomes-Casseres, author of Remix Strategy.

“Remix is the process of taking assets from outside your company capabilities and mixing them and combining them with your own,” said Gomes-Casseres, a professor at Brandeis University, International Business School.

Gomes-Casseres offers three laws in his book to maximize the success of a strategic combination. His first law states: “The value created by the combination should exceed the total value that would be generated by the players acting alone.” Or, in other words, trying to make 1+1=3.

Of course, Gomes-Casseres recognizes it’s not always easy to calculate a merger’s synergies in advance no matter how the investment bankers pitch the deal.

“Look at InBev (BUD) and SABMiller  (SBMRY) right now,” said Gomes-Casseres. “Do we know that they are going to create value by coming together? It’s like twosumo wrestlers trying to hug each other.”

Gomes-Casseres’ second law in Remixing Strategy says: “The combination must be designed and managed to realize this joint value.”

In the cases of an acquisition, generally the acquirer runs the show post-merger and takes responsibility for creating value going forward. However, in cases of joint ventures and alliances, it is not always so clear and that must be ironed out in advance for the partnership to succeed.

“Take IBM (IBMGet Report) and Apple  (AAPLGet Report) ,” said Gomes-Casseres. “In their alliance around mobile computing, they have to share ownership and equity. That is more challenging than a straight merger.”

Finally, Gomes-Casseres’ third law states that: “Each participant must earn a return sufficient to justify the investment.” To illustrate this rule, he pointed to the long andsuccessful partnership between Renault and Nissan (NSANY) .

“They have very explicit methods to try to figure out how to gain the best from each side and how to create decision structures that keep both sides involved and with a stake in the outcome,” said Gomes-Casseres.