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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }
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 […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Coming to a breakfast bowl near you in 2015…

Corn flakes, or honey and pistachio puff pastries? After years of turmoil and instability in North Africa and the Middle East since the “Arab Spring”, the region is beginning to be seen my major western investors as again offering good long term potential, or at least worth taking a risk.  The fact that Coca-Cola is […]

Read full story · Comments { 0 }