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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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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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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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Best M&A deal of the year, but for whom ?

And the winner is … On 12th December, the Financial Times & Mergermarket European M&A Awards were held at London’s Savoy Hotel; this year the panel of experts granted to “M&A Deal of the Year” award to the acquisition of Virgin Media Inc. by Liberty Global Plc. A report published by Mergermarket and The Storytellers […]

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Will Private Ownership Change Dell’s M&A Strategy ?

$24.4bn to change the future of his “baby” Having received his shareholders’ clearance for the leverage buyout he has been leading since January, at a handsome cost of $24.4bn and after a bitter fight against fierce opponents, not least with activist Carl Icahn, which resulted in the bid being raised six times before being submitted […]

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U.S. Regulators : Random Roulette or Applied Logic?

Two ways of looking at the same thing On 24th September, the world’s largest chip manufacturing equipment maker U.S. based Applied Materials (AMAT) announced its intention to merge with world number three Tokyo Electron, resulting in a company which will be twice the size of its next rival. AMAT’s executive chairman Mike Splinter commented on […]

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M&A Integration : A Learning Curve

It is widespread knowledge that 50% to 80% of all mergers and acquisitions fail to deliver the benefits described in their business case, and a sign of blissful ignorance that so many companies continue to embark on major acquisitions or mergers whilst ill-prepared, confident that they will reach a successful outcome when in fact the […]

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Transferring “Excellence”: who will win or lose from the alliance of Quality and Mediocrity at BA and Iberia?

Chalk and Cheese High Above the Clouds As a very frequent user of airline services, I have followed with interest the developments relating to the merger efforts of British Airways and Iberia under the umbrella of their common owner IAG (International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A.).  The alliance between one airline which has dragged itself up […]

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