TIE-UPS FOR TITANS

Even without a blockbuster Dow-DuPont deal, this was a huge year in American merger history

Another day, another gigantic merger between titans of corporate America.

This time, it’s Dow Chemical in talks with DuPont. Both companies are huge conglomerates that had nearly $93 billion in combined revenue last year, and they make everything from circuit boards to fake grass.

Even if the merger talks go nowhere, it’s already been a crazy year for corporate marriages: more than $2.3 trillion (trillion, with a “T”) in deals have gone down just in the US this year, a record.

That’s especially true at the high end. Even without DowPont’s rumored $120 billion price tag, there have been more than $471 billion worth of deals larger than $50 billion this year. Among them were Dell scooping up EMC for $67 billion, Charter Communications buying Time Warner for $55 billion, and who could forget Allergan’s $160 billion pairing with Pfizer?

In fact, health care has provided one of the biggest boosts to US merger activity, as companies either try to keep their product pipelines flowing or “move” operations overseas to keep the tax man at bay in the states.

The motivation behind the Dow-DuPont tie-up would be to throw two titans together and achieve growth for the new entity, as well as all the business units thrown off in the collision. Investors love the idea, and both stocks soared more than 11% apiece.

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