In the Mergers & Acquisitions business, price is the basis of the transaction. It is certainly not the only factor to negotiate, but without agreement on price, there is no deal. Price drives the deal.
There is an old joke about price attributable to the great Winston Churchill:
Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.
My story on price was an interaction with my late boss at Integrated Health Services, Dr. Robert Elkins. The dialogue goes something like below:
Mark: Bob, I can’t make a deal with this guy, no matter what goodies and concessions i have offered.
Bob: Did you offer a higher price?
Mark: This guy got a plenty of money and has made it abundantly clear, that he can’t be swayed by more money.
Bob: Mark, I never met anyone who doesn’t want or need more money. Go back and offer more money!
I took Bob’s advice, offered more money and we struck a deal.
Moral of the Story: Yes, it is true that deals are a function of agreement on price and multiple terms, including alignment of values between seller and buyer, but at the end of day, if the price is not satisfactory, there is no deal.