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Edmund Stoiber goes to Hollywood today for a chat with Rupert Murdoch about why he should base his putative German empire in Munich, capital of the state of Bavaria, where Mr Stoiber is Prime Minister.

Edmund Stoiber goes to Hollywood today for a chat with Rupert Murdoch about why he should base his putative German empire in Munich, capital of the state of Bavaria, where Mr Stoiber is Prime Minister.

Mr Stoiber has an open-mouth policy when it comes to attracting businesses, preferably hi-tech, to his state. "Stoiber's.... silence would be golden," commented the German newspaper Die Welt wearily last week.

Mr Murdoch's hour in Germany appears to have arrived. News Corporation is talking to Deutsche Telekom about buying a big stake in its TV cable network and Mr Murdoch has been offered a 24 per cent stake in Kirch Group's newly relaunched pay-TV operation, Premiere World.

But the Australian-turned-American might well need another change of nationality, if the outbreak of nationalism over the sale of the Deutsche Telekom cable network is any guide.

"Why should foreigners develop the German cable network when we can do it ourselves?" was typical public rhetoric from Alex Pfeil , chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank's investor unit, another major bidder for the cable.

Who knows, maybe one of Mr Stoiber's sweeteners for Mr Murdoch will include citizenship of the Free State of Bavaria?

MEANWHILE, DOWN under, Rupert Murdoch's mother Dame Elisabeth Murdoch will be backing the monarchy in the Australian referendum on 6 November.

Mr Murdoch's son Lachlan Murdoch is on the other side, helping to run the campaign to sever Australia's links with the UK.

All of which should make breakfasts chez Murdoch interesting occasions. Senior constitutional lawyers are even now poring over the textbooks to work out whether Republican Rupert, who renounced his Australian citizenship in favour of America, will still be able to vote.

YOU CAN watch Dino Adriano filling the shelves this Thursday when the Sainsbury's chief executive appears on BBC2's Back to the Floor series at 9.00pm.

Having recently survived a management shake-up which involved handing half his job to David Bremner , the newly appointed head of UK supermarkets, Mr Adriano may find this scrape with the coal face a bit close for comfort.

Anyway, bearing in mind his well known culinary skills - Mr Adriano's pasta sauce is delicious, I'm told - I'm betting he'll look good in the food section.

THE FRENCH may not like our beef, but they have fallen in love with that Anglo-Saxon vice, investment banking.

Our cross-channel cousins have even dreamt up their own description of the bankers, lawyers and spin doctors who have been trousering fees from the latest wave of mega mergers: "Le petit club de happy few".

The French journal Nouvel Economiste awards the number one slot to Michael Zaoui , 42, head of Morgan Stanley Europe's mergers and acquisitions department.

Mr Zaoui had a hand in the Carrefour-Promodÿs merger, Suez Lyonnaise's bid for Tractebel, Elf's defence against TotalFina, Société Générale's against BNP and Gucci's against LVMH.

Hard on his heels is Jean-Marc Forneri , 40, chairman of CSFB France, who has whizzed to prominence with two coups - advising Total on the Petrofina acquisition, then advising Totalfina on Elf.

Nouvel Economiste may be going a bit far for its French readership by suggesting that Paribas and Société Générale were the losers in their particular merger wars because they failed to call in Anglo-Saxon investment banks at the start.

It adds: "What good is a project today without the support of the men in the wings who hold the real power?"

De Gaulle would have been appalled.

 

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