On the up: Reckitt & Colman

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The Independent Online
RECKITT & COLMAN jumped 19 per cent last week after it said it was buying Dutch company Benckiser for about pounds 2bn to become the world's biggest maker of household cleaning products.

The combination, to be called Reckitt Benckiser, will have sales of pounds 3bn. The companies plan to use their joint market power to get better terms from suppliers and expedite product development to keep up with cost-cutting at Unilever and Procter & Gamble, especially in the US.

"The benefits shine through in buying power and pooling of research and development, marketing expenses and distribution," said Jan-Coen Balt, an analyst at Effectenbank Stroeve. "They become a global player at once."