Who Said Takeovers Were Dead?

From casinos to airlines, the bidding becomes brisk again

Suddenly the merger whirlwind started blowing once again last week, into every corner of the economy. Chrysler's agreement to buy AMC was only the most stunning of a series of takeover bids and pacts that swept through the boardrooms of airline companies, book publishers, casino operators, shoemakers and retailers. Says Thom Brown, chief of investment policy at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment-banking firm: "There are so many deals in the works that it's hard to keep a cap on them."

The unexpected flurry seemed to defy a whole host of forces. Many Wall Streeters had thought tax reform would put...