Mergers: Hooking Them Up

In spite of a new corporate symbol and the influx of $450 million raised to modernize the creaky 117-year-old company, Western Union's growth rate has been discouraging. Telegrams, which still account for 46% of the company's revenues, were off last year; some modernization programs were slow getting started and, as a result, revenues rose a meager 5%. But Western Union does have some interesting possibilities. One is that, in spite of assets of $741 million, its total common-stock value is about $350 million—which puts it in the range that an acquisitive-minded smaller company could manage. Moreover, in an age...

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