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Corporate Takeover Targets by Hicham Meghouar

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Introduction

In 2008, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers investment bank created a significant abyss. The United States feared a repetition of the 1929 crisis. A year later, in Asia, the United States and Europe, analysts spoke of the end of the recession. In the financial market, the crisis seemed a thing of the past. The continuous rise in stock indexes in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo since March 2009 demonstrated this trend. In early September CAC 40 gained 3.78%, crossing the symbolic threshold of 3.700 points with 3,734.89 points precisely. In Wall Street, S&P 500 exceeded the 10,000 point mark after gaining 3.94%, while in London, the FTSE made 3.29%. According to the stock exchange rule, positive momentum can result in a “speculative excess”. In the absence of significant economic indicators, investors contented themselves with announcements of takeover bids. After months of inactivity, several listed companies engaged in corporate takeovers.

The year 2009 recorded massive transactions such as Kraft’s bid for Cadbury1, followed by that of Vivendi for the Brazilian operator GVT, the acquisition of Cegelec by Vinci group or the announcement of negotiations between Japanese brewer Suntory and Orangina. The slow pace in takeover bids witnessed in 2009 was as a result of the economic environment, which was too uncertain for most company executives to embark on large-scale transactions. During the first quarter of 2010, several transactions were announced. Indeed, according ...

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