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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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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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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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Will Europe and US Regulators Ruin Staples and Office Depot’s Dream?

Second time lucky?   But the world has changed in the meantime, and in 2013 the same US antitrust regulator allowed Office Depot to acquire Officemax without divesting a single of the acquired business’s outlets.  It did not take much time for Starboard Value, one of Staples very vocal shareholders, to notice the change of […]

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Poundland and 99p Stores: the importance of defining the competitive set

The CMA gives its provisional approval, after an initial cold welcome Phase II of the regulatory review conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reversed that body’s initial conclusions, which predicted that a number of stores would have to be sold to allow the deal to go ahead.  Now suddenly, the conclusions of […]

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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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Is AOL one of those desperate would-be brides?

Once divorced, twice engaged The news that AOL is about to be acquired by telecommunications giant Verizon reminds me of the box-office hit of the 1990’s “Muriel’s Wedding”, that charming tale of an unattractive Australian desperate would-be bride who relentlessly pursues her dream, turns out to be a beautiful sensitive person but gets faced with […]

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Holcim and Lafarge : the great sale is on!

On course for becoming the world’s number one Last April when Holcim and Lafarge announced their intention to merge, I was not the only one to predict that this mega-merger project would be a feast for the anti-trust regulators across the world, and indeed it has been.  However, given the complexity and magnitude of 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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