An artefact of the boom times

Here’s a treat for you. The Financial Times (hi Alphaville!) has an archive of stories from back in the good ol’ days of 2007, when Barclays and RBS went to war – a good war, a just war, a war for synergies and cost savings, a war for the right to ABN Amro’s hand in marriage.

And at the time, FT columnist Lina Saigol presciently wrote:

The RBS offer for ABN Amro is roughly €38 a share – equivalent to a premium of more than 70 per cent.

Vodafone’s bid for AirTouch was pitched at 70 per cent in 1999, while one year later AOL bought Time Warner also at a 70 per cent premium, according to data from Thomson Financial.

And we all know how well the AOL/Time Warner merger went.

In the end, the Scots won, with the help of the Spaniards and the Belgians, paying EUR 70 billion for the prize. A few people had doubts, but most people thought it was brilliant, coup of the decade, Fred’s a legend, let’s pay him hundreds of millions of dollars, it’ll be different this time…

And we all know how well that went.

Relevant: Split Enz!

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