Not a banner year for mergers

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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: If those numbers spell heartburn, then there are some others that we're examining this morning -- 2008 has been a terrible year for takeovers and mergers. A record number of deals were canceled. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The public won't shed a tear, but canceled deals do make investment bankers suffer. All that work and then no fees to show for it. That happened a lot over the past year -- 1,300 mergers and takeovers fell through -- $900 billion worth. The main reason: the credit crunch. Lenders were less willing to finance a corporate spending spree.

John Foley is with the financial Web site Breaking Views. He says investment bankers may have something to look forward to next year:

John Foley: The hope is that in 2009, companies will get into distress and look to buy each other or merge with each other or be bought out of bankruptcy. So lot's of bankers are now planning defensive or distressed deals. And that's the hope for fees next year.

That may not improve the popularity of the bankers. In one recent poll, 58 percent of Britons said that bankers were mostly to blame for the economic crisis.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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