Acquisitive companies are generally mistrusted by investors. There are good reasons for this, as many acquisitions make shareholders worse off rather than better off. Distribution company Bunzl (BNZL) has proved to be an exception to this general rule and has done a good job in making acquisitions work for its investors.
The main reason why investors are wary of acquisitive companies is because many acquisitions destroy value rather than create it. Here, I am defining value creation as when a company makes a return on capital employed (ROCE) greater than what it costs to fund it (its cost of capital).