In the end, it did not even go to the wire. BAE Systems and EADS announced that their merger was off several hours before the deadline set by the Takeover Panel expired. Not that there had been much doubt. Opposition had mounted over the past two weeks, culminating in reports that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had decided against. With that, it did not stand a chance.
The collapse of the deal does little for the credibility of BAE's chief executive, Ian King, who had argued the merits of the deal long and hard. But the failure hardly enhances the standing of EADS either, as the terms of the mooted deal only served to highlight – again – aspects of its own sprawling dysfunctionality. If a jilted BAE now decides to seek a less ambitious, but still advantageous, partnership elsewhere – with Rolls-Royce, say – some good may yet come of this sorry mess.
- More about: