Creating mergers and takeovers

Practicing corporate cannibalism
In June 1999 the US retail giant Wal-Mart made an agreed 6.7 billion pound ($10.8 billion) bid for UK supermarket chain ASDA, trumping UK retailer Kingfisher's plan to merge with the British supermarket chain. Wal-Mart's bid for Britain's ASDA is just the beginning of strategic manoeuvrings in the European distribution sector which are likely to include a link between Wal-Mart and a French supermarket chain Leclerc. Contrary to the big industrial multinationals, no distribution brand is present in all European countries. At present no retail chain has a position in more than five or six countries. The Europeanisation of the sector is a strategic necessity and players are going to invest a lot in coming years and embark on takeovers and mergers.

In December 1999 Astrazeneca and Novartis, two life-sciences firms, announced a merger of their agribusiness divisions, to form a new company called Syngenta with $7.9 billion in annual sales. Syngenta, which will be the world's largest producer of agrochemicals and genetically modified seeds, will become a separately traded firm. The move allows AstraZeneca and Novartis to focus on drug making. Rapid consolidation among agribiotechnology firms is leaving fewer eligible partners for America's Monsanto, which is looking for a union.

In January 2000, America Online and Time Warner announced their intent to merge and form a combined multimedia company offering a wide array of services over the Internet. Both companies are already dominant in their market sectors both in Europe and United States. America Online is the world's largest Internet service provider with more than 20 million subscribers. Time Warner has a customer base of more than 65 million households, and is one of the world's largest providers of entertainment products such as music, magazines, and movies.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production