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The Mergers That Couldnt

BIZ SPOTLIGHT – Mergers & AcquisitionsBIZ SPOTLIGHT – Mergers & Acquisitions

There are no sure things when it comes to acquisitions and mergers.

Health care products company Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick began 2006 with a definitive agreement to acquire Guidant, an Indianapolis maker of cardiac-treatment devices for $24.2 billion. But J&J ultimately lost a bidding war with medical device maker Boston Scientific of Natick, Mass., which put a $27 billion offer on the table.

Public Service Enterprise Group, the Newark-based parent of utility company Public Service Energy and Gas, in 2004 announced an $18 billion merger with Chicago’s Exelon that would have created the largest electric company in the nation. Opponents of the deal feared an energy oligarch that would jack up rates for consumers; the pair struggled for two years to get regulatory approval. Despite offers to divest various units, the state Board of Public Utilities withheld its blessing. In September, when the BPU suggested the companies sell off two more power plants and provide $800 million in rate relief to New Jersey energy users, Exelon rescinded its offer.

Real estate investment trust Mack-Cali Realty in Edison made a play last December with Rome Acquisition, to acquire Reckson Associates Realty in Uniondale, N.Y. Mack-Cali planned to contribute at least $400 million to the partnership’s $4.6 billion bid. But shortly after it joined the party, Mack-Cali withdrew from the Rome Partnership, saying the deal was not in the best interest of its shareholders.

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