Top Five Takeover Rumors That Won’t Die
by Todd Shriber
In some ways, being an investment banker can be a quixotic job. What doesn’t happen, in this case big mergers and acquisitions, is almost as interesting as the deals that do see the light of day.
Plenty of the big, potential deals that have never come to life are no secret. While some probably will never close, a couple of others might have a chance of one day making the transition from rumor to consummated deal. With that, here’s Trader Daily’s list of top five rumored deals that haven’t come true… yet. In no particular order…
The Oil Rumor with Nine Lives
As Trader Daily has noted, rumors of a marriage between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) and BP (BP), Europe’s two largest oil companies, have been nothing if not persistent. The scuttlebutt started in 2004, picked up again in 2007 and has been in and out of the press ever since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April 2010. While probably not imminent, it’s hard to rule out Shell acquiring BP.
Probably Not Gonna Happen
Remember when Google (GOOG) tried to acquire daily deal website Groupon for $6 billion and was rejected in December? That would have been high robbery as Groupon could be worth $15 billion to $20 billion, according to Reuters, or up to $25 billion, as Bloomberg reported. It seems unlikely these two will ever go to the altar.
A Tasty Rumor
Rumors of Nestle (NSRGY), the world’s largest food company, acquiring rival General Mills (GIS), the second-largest U.S. food company, have been around about as long as the Shell/BP rumors. Seriously. Put the phrase “Nestle General Mills acquisition” into your search engine, and you’ll get plenty of results. The rumor resurfaced again earlier this month, thanks to a report in the Nutrition Business Journal.
This One Should Probably Die
Rumors of Wells Fargo (WFC) acquiring regional banking giant SunTrust (STI) have been around for nearly a decade, as the South Florida Business Journal reported. Duration of a rumor doesn’t mean much, and Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia during the financial crisis, dealing a blow to the SunTrust rumors. Wachovia operated in many of the same markets as SunTrust does, meaning Wells Fargo has no need for it.
Mr. Softie Hearts BlackBerry?
Rumors of Microsoft (MSFT) moving on BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) have been around for several years, dating back to at least 2008, as Reuters reported. The rumor has been in the news as recently as this month, and the deal could materialize over the next year, according to KitGuru.
RIMM has a market cap of more than $23 billion, so Microsoft has more than ample cash on hand to make this deal happen if it wants to.
Disclosure: Writer owns General Mills stock.
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