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.
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
Speeding stock trading