28 Sep 2010

Resurgence in international takeover bids

1:12 pm on 28 September 2010

There's been a flurry of multi-billion dollar merger and acquisition deals on Wall Street, as companies seek to strengthen their foothold in emerging markets.

Such deals, especially larger ones, were hit by the economic downturn as funding lines dried up and company valuations plummeted.

However there are signs activity is starting to recover. Global consumer products group Unilever is paying $US3.7 billion for haircare company Alberto Culver, strengthening its presence in Asia.

The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is in talks to buy South Africa's low cost retail chain Massmart for $US4 billion.

Meanwhile, takeover bids by Bright Food for the UK's United Biscuits for $US3 billion, and America's Southwest Airlines for rival Air Tan for $US3.4 billion have also spurred the market.