The recent stock collapse of some high-profile deal-makers has led many executives to pull back from mergers and acquisitions. But a Bain & Company study has found that the companies most successful at creating longterm shareholder value tend to make acquisitions constantly through boom and bust. The most successful deal-makers are companies that shop frequently, use dollar-cost averaging to identify opportunities instead of trying to time the markets, and mainly buy companies a fraction of their size. They build experienced deal teams that get involved in all acquisitions, they commit line expertise, and they always set a walk-away price and prepare to leave the table if the deal's economics fail to make sense. The multinational food company Nestlé provides one example of how the best acquirers can create value.