Unambiguous assertions from Kingfisher’s chief executive Sir Geoff
Mulcahy of the benefits of the proposed Kingfisher merger with Asda
apparently left City analysts ’uninspired’ (Express, 20/4).
The focus of the criticism was that the ’marriage was out of balance’
(Daily Telegraph, 18/4), and the talk of a takeover was on meagre terms
rather than a merger of giants. Hopes for last-minute rival bidders in
the form of US monolith WalMart or France’s Carrefour were mercilessly
promoted by journalists and analysts.
Quiet murmuring from unidentified Asda shareholders that the terms of
the deal were ’not unduly generous’ were overwhelmed by claims that
there was a ’genuine synergy’ between the companies (Sunday Telegraph,
Share prospects for employees and potential for growth were highlighted
as Asda’s primary gains, while the tabloids touted cost-savings for
But the proposal struck fear into the hearts of other retailers, already
feeling pressure to increase size through mergers.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: