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There is no doubt that the start of 2015 brought in its fair share of good tidings, especially in the business market. In fact, 2015’s first quarter saw the completion of more than a dozen mergers and acquisitions involving large UK based companies and more than 90 involving British SME’s. Here, we take a brief look at five of the biggest UK business deals completed so far this year.
Royal Dutch Shell acquires BG Group
This is arguably the biggest business deal that has gone down so far in 2015. In March this year, Anglo-Dutch owned company Shell announced their plans for buying out their somewhat smaller, yet pretty profitable British competition – BG Group plc. The deal was done later in May when they acquired 50% of the natural gas conglomerate for a whopping €47 billion Euros.
Glaxo Wellcome plc. finally joins SmithKline Beecham
In February this year, Glaxo Wellcome plc. finalised their merger with rivals SmithKline Beecham – a transition that actually started back in 2000. The merger, which may go down as the biggest in 2015, resulted in a Research and Development powerhouse having more than a €70-billion market capitalisation in the London Stock Exchange.
RBS bails out ABN-AMRO
Although this deal was finalised early this year, RBS had been eyeing the Dutch financial giant since 2007, and the result was one of the biggest bank takeovers we will see this year. However, it is not to be forgotten that the ailing bank was split into three in 2010 and RBS walked away with the lion’s share at a cost of a massive €35-billion. In fact, so massive was their invoice that it required a bailout to keep RBS afloat on the London Stock Exchange.
Kraft and Cadbury finalise their merger to form the world largest confectionery giant
The most controversial business deal this year involved the completion of the merger of two bitter confectionery rivals who decided to finally put their differences aside and work towards a greater goal. The merger might have begun back in 2010, but this year the two companies decided to iron out their differences by completing the final phase of their mutual consolidation. In effect, this usher marked the close of the €11.5 billion deal and the shutdown of Kraft’s Somerdale factory.
Pfizer takes over AstraZeneca
In a bid to create the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer offered to acquire 55% of AstraZeneca stock at a prohibitive €55 per share in January this year. Although the takeover is still underway, the completion of this deal will cost Pfizer over €25-billion.
Some exciting deals taking place here, we’re sure you’ll agree, but there are likely many more to come, the largest of which we’re probably yet to see.