Yahoo! : When the pretty wedding dress reveals an ugly bride …

What kind of due diligence is this? Thinking of how much scrutiny and effort goes into conducting pre-acquisition due diligence on medium-size deals, it is quite staggering that the hacking of some 500 million Yahoo accounts could have remained a tightly kept secret for two years and be purposefully concealed until the ink had almost […]

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Sir James Dyson unknowingly held his promise: Brexit sucks!

First liar’s advantage In a nation whose citizens are very seldom asked to voice their opinion in a referendum, the UK “Brexit” campaign will be remembered as unprecedented in many ways: firstly, the reported reactions since the verdict of the referendum was officially declared show that many voters did not fully understand the implications of […]

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Aspirin inventor gives its shareholders a real head-ache

Bayer Monsanto – logical but somewhat scary Only months after Monsanto aborted its attempt to capture Syngenta, it now finds itself the target of Bayer’s latest voracious expansion plan. The USD 62 billion offered by Bayer are apparently not enough to convince Monsanto’s leaders, in spite of providing a premium of more than 20% over […]

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3 + 2 + 6 = 2    The logic behind the New Charter deal

Charter’s victory follows Comcast’s defeat The patience of Charter Communications Inc., the USA’s third largest cable operator, will have been well rewarded. Almost one year after announcing its intention to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks, the regulators have given their conditional blessing to the mega-merger which will create New Charter, the […]

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Premier Foods : the great illusion of “future potential”

Cowardice or wisdom? Having developed steadily for three decades through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions since its foundation in 1975 till its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2004, Premier Foods’ M&A strategy became increasingly bold from 2004 onwards, broadening its portfolio of brands to include Ambrosia from Colman (Unilever), as well […]

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Foxconn’s blunt response to Sharp

The epitome of Kabuki drama The absolute climax of M&A drama unfolded this week in Japan, after a sequence of events that comprised all the ingredients of a great tragedy: past glory, decline, hope, power, notional pride, salvation, betrayal, distrust, deceit and humiliation.  End of Act One. The curtain has gone down, leaving the audience […]

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All lights turned off for Philips’ sales of Lumileds

Dutch group’s strategy marred by the US regulators We have become accustomed over the years merger and acquisition deals being blocked by the regulators of various countries on the grounds of risks of market dominance by the proposed merged business. The severity with which these regulators have defined the threshold of what they believe constitutes […]

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DowDuPont : the world’s biggest chemical reaction ever

From two to one, then one to three As an apotheosis to close a year that has seen a number of mega-mergers, America’s two largest chemical companies Dow and DuPont announced on 11th December a $130bn deal of extraordinary ambition, but also of unprecedented complexity. To achieve their promised $3bn annual cost synergies, which would […]

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Is this the beverage industry’s remake of “Indecent Proposal”?

Energy and persistence conquer all things (Benjamin Franklin) After four unsuccessful bids, it is befitting that the deadline set by the U.K.’s Takeover Panel for beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to submit a fifth and final offer for SABMiller Plc. was extended to 5 p.m. GMT on 11th November : Armistice Day ! Rumours that AB InBev were about to bid […]

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Sika and Saint-Gobain : will reputation outweigh the legal verdict?

A bitter saga Whatever the outcome of the challenged take-over of Sika by Saint-Gobain, which was first announced in December 2014, there will be bitter lessons to be remembered in the future, and other companies whose capital structure includes shares with preferential voting rights might see their value plunge unless they can provide the clarity […]

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