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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

January 4, 2011 at 9:36 AM

With Fisher in play, stay tuned for a big year in M&A

Merger and acquisitions fell off a cliff in 2008 when the financial system nearly collapsed. Since then it’s been limping back and many are predicting a big year in 2011. The Canadian bid for Seattle-based Fisher Communications is one early sign. Although the owner of KOMO television and three radio stations said “no,” for now at least, it’s shares (FSCI) tell a different story. They’re up 4 percent this morning on the sense that Fisher is in play.

Expect more.

One deal that did happen in 2010 was the $22.4 billion acquisition of Qwest by CenturyLink of Monroe, La. Qwest was founded in the mid-1990s by Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz, and went on to acquire the Baby Bell USWest, then fall into scandal in the 2001 bust. It’s a calamity for Denver, which loses its most prominent Fortune 500 headquarters and what was once a stalwart of community leadership and philanthropy. The executives and investment bankers got richer.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Brewing flash crashes

They sit out in office parks

Speeding stock trading

Comments | More in Mergers and acquisitions

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