High Price to Pay for a Botched Buy

Looking to hire a bank? How would you feel about one that botched a friendly takeover, then paid 27% more than necessary for the acquisition? That's what France's Crédit Agricole did in its recent bid to acquire rival Crédit Lyonnais, to create one of Europe's Top 10 banks, with more than €330 billion in assets under management. Crédit Agricole, a network of mostly rural savings banks, was for almost two years the preferred candidate to take over the government's 10.9% stake in Crédit Lyonnais. But talks bogged down. In November, when Agricole ceo Jean Laurent (pictured) tried to haggle the government's...

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