While most of the country was watching the election, things were
quietly brewing at Guinness and Grand Met. The mega-merger of the
renamed GMG Brands was sealed last week in solicitors’ offices next door
to ITN and Reuters without journalists getting a whiff of the new
Unlike last year’s P&O Stena merger, which hit the papers with headlines
screaming of 1,000 job losses, the fact that there would be 2,000 extra
bodies in the marketplace was buried under near-universal approbation of
the deal. John Wakeley, sector analyst at Lehman Brothers, was a lone
(although widely-quoted) voice crying in the wilderness against the
merger, while the Independent saw potential damage to both the cause of
competition and the British economy.
Some commentators saw it as a sign of things to come under New Labour,
with partnerships rather than hostile takeovers the order of the
Allied Domecq and Seagram and French company LVMH were all prompted to
react to the potential impact.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.
Cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers
Say’ can also be found at: http//www.carma.com/carma.