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Black Tuesday for M&A as deals worth $120bn fall through

Black Tuesday for M&A as deals worth $120bn fall through

Takeover deals worth nearly $120 billion collapsed yesterday, raising concerns about the sustainability of the buoyant M&A market.

Rupert Murdoch abandoned 21st Century Fox's proposed $71 billion acquisition of Time Warner after the media magnate withdrew his offer, apparently put off by Time Warner's hostility to the deal and the fact Fox's had been sinking since the approach was announced. Fox's share priced rose by 6.7% on the news in after hours trading, while Time Warner's fell by 11%, reflecting investor sentiment on the deal.

Elsewhere, mobile phone operator Sprint, which is owned by Japanese telco giant Softbank, dropped its $32 billion pursuit of T-Mobile US, in the belief that the deal would be blocked on competition grounds. Sprint's shares sank by 15% on the news in after hours trading while T-Mobile's shares were off 9%.

Separately, T-Mobile US rejected a $15 billion bid for a division of its company from French telco Iliad.

On a brighter note for M&A, Walgreens is expected to continue with its $10 billion attempt to acquire the rest of Alliance Boots, which it bought a majority stake in last year.

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