You are using an outdated browser. Upgrade your browser today or install Google Chrome Frame to better experience this site. Having problems logging in? Regardless of whether the Boots and Alliance UniChem merger completes and the honeymoon reception granted the announcement disintegrated pretty quickly this week , investors would do well to remember that the majority of corporate acquisitions fail. Nobody could dispute the latter claim.
Any alliance between Boots and UniChem will be primarily survivalist on a High Street which Tesco bestrides like a colossus.
Early reports of the deal had it billed as a merger of equals. But if Richard Baker, CEO of Boots, maintains his presence at the enlarged group and Boots chairman Sir Nigel Rudd does likewise, this looks suspiciously like a takeover, plain and simple.
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It is not unlike the first three or four days after catching the flu. The institution is mobilising its immune system — and rejecting a great deal of the incoming culture. Seen in biological terms, a so-called merger of equals is even more of a challenge than a fully fledged acquisition. As he suggests, at these proportions, many acquisitions and most mergers rise well above the tolerance limits of both parties.
Other surveys have reported comparably disheartening results. All of which is not to say that Boots and Alliance UniChem might not amount to the perfect couple. The general retailing backdrop, however, is hardly encouraging.
Consumer confidence is at the mercy of softening residential property prices, higher oil prices and a weakening economy. But irrespective of their strategic or cultural fit and mooted synergistic benefits, history suggests that it is probably too early to be polishing the rose-tinted spectacles. Just as well both parties are in healthcare. John Stepek 2 Comments.
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