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Mergers and Acquisitions Attorneys

History

Since the late 1800s, companies in the United States have sought to expand their businesses either through merging with other companies or through acquiring other companies. Some mergers and acquisitions are done by companies to expand into other regions and/or countries; others are completed to take over a rival company.

The industries that are most prone to mergers and acquisitions are financial services, health care, technology, retail, and utility sectors. In general, smaller companies that struggle to compete in certain markets often end up being absorbed by larger, more established, and better funded companies. There have been many mergers and acquisitions by major corporations since the 1990s. Some examples of deals between major companies include Citicorp and Travelers Group, Exxon and Mobil, Pfizer and Warner-Lambert, and AT&T and BellSouth. 

The financial-services industry was altered by the merger between Citicorp and Travelers Group in 1998. This $70 billion deal resulted in Citigroup Inc., a giant in the financial-services sector; the merger enabled Citigroup to offer banking, insurance, and investment services in more than 100 countries. When Exxon and Mobil, the two largest oil producers in the United States, came together in 1998, they created the ExxonMobil Corporation with an approximate value of $238 billion in market capitalization. In 2000, Pfizer Inc. acquired Warner-Lambert in a $90 billion deal, after several years of intensive negotiations and Pfizer's initial failed attempt at a hostile takeover of Warner. And in 2006, AT&T, already a telecommunications giant then, acquired the large telephone company BellSouth for $67 billion. This deal gave AT&T a local customer base of 70 million in 22 states, helping to increase its dominance in the telecommunications industry.

The field of mergers and acquisitions law has evolved as corporations continue to expand or consolidate their businesses. From the opening offer and letter of intent to negotiating the terms and closing the deal, mergers and acquisitions attorneys are needed to guide corporate clients through complex and often intimidating merger and acquisition processes and transactions.