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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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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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Ferrero and Thornton’s : the bitter sweet taste of M&A

Similar origins – different trajectories Ferrero’s bid for Thornton’s marks the end of just over one century of history, as yet another British chocolate household name will be swept up by a foreign group, following in the footsteps of Cadbury in 2009 and Rowntree in 1988.  This will leave the relative newcomer Hotel Chocolat as […]

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FedEx and TNT : a neatly parcelled deal

An uncomplicated deal, for a change Two years after UPS’s attempt to acquire TNT for 6.8 billion dollars, which aborted as a result of the European regulatory authorities’ opposition, TNT is about to be picked up by another rival: FedEx, but this time for a far lower price tag of 4.4 billion dollars.  So who […]

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Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: Wireless and Fearless

Broad smiles or an anxious rictus? On 15th April, Nokia announced its intention to acquire Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal.  Nokia’s Risto Siilasmaa and CEO Rajeev Suri were seen exchanging a warm hand shake with Alcatel-Lucent’s Philippe Camus and CEO Michel Combes, all four gentlemen displaying beaming smiles as the news of their forthcoming merger […]

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A drop of Heinz Ketchup in your Maxwell House coffee Sir ?

Baked beans on toast for two of the world’s richest men Brazil’s richest man Jorge Paulo Lemann has teamed up with Warren Buffett to engineer a deal to merge with Heinz which will not generate much enthusiasm amongst the gourmet elite of this world.  But the Kraft Heinz merger has everything it takes to get […]

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Yahoo!–AOL proposed merger: slow + slow equal fast?

What next big decision for Marissa Mayer? Now that Yahoo! Have cashed in on the sale of 140 million shares of Chinese on-line retail giant Alibaba (subject to a one-year lockup), there are fears – or hopes –  that once she has fulfilled her promise of returning part of the cash of that sale to […]

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Publicis – Omnicom : A Predictable Failure

How can two world-renowned business leaders commit first-time-beginner mistakes ? Told you so … Some critics, journalists and experts from all walks of life relish in pointing out how accurately they had predicted a business failure many months before it occurred.  One year exactly after Publicis and Omnicom announced their plan to merge, I don’t […]

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Holcim and Lafarge : cementing a global alliance

Two European giants with global reach For a change, this month’s mega-merger announcement does not involve American or Asian heavyweight players, but rather two giants in “old Europe”.  It is not about social media, high-tech or software, and will instead rock an industry which has none of that glitz and glamour  : cement. Having flirted […]

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