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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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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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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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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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Travelocity gnome

Expedia : When Partnering Evolves Towards an Outright Take-Over

A giant eats the Roaming Gnome With the news this month that Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome has become part of Expedia’s large portfolio of on-line travel companies, markets are now speculating whether this latest grouping will spark-off a domino effect across the on-line travel industry, and wonder what this will mean for all of us: the […]

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Big, huge, gigantic: how large must Telco companies become in the UK?

And exciting 2015 looms… In recent weeks, early signs of big changes to come in the UK’s telecom landscape have sparked off speculation as to which of the key players might join forces, or possibly even quit the UK scene to re-invest elsewhere.  Why now? UK consumers and businesses enjoy one of Europe’s most competitive […]

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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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Something big could be brewing…

A lasting rumour may be turning true AB InBev, the giant that towers over the global brewing industry and is more of an M&A machine than a beer producer, is believed to be preparing to bid for rival SAB Miller in what could be a deal exceeding $120 billion. The group, which developed at an […]

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