Return Of The Urge To Merge

Richard J. Peterson had an exciting week last week for the first time in ages. As chief market strategist for the U.S.-based data firm Thomson Financial, Peterson keeps track of companies around the world who are buying and selling each other. And after some very slow years, he saw the urge to merge suddenly come rushing back. On Monday, Canada's Alcan launched a hostile j3.4 billion takeover bid for France's Pechiney, only the second such attempt in France in the past decade. The combined firms would be the world's largest aluminum company. The next day, three companies in the U.S. announced...

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