Top 5 biggest corporate buyouts in history

NNatalie September 30, 2023 7:11 AM

Corporate buyouts, mergers, and acquisitions are common occurrences in the business world. They can have a significant impact on the companies involved, the industry, and even the global economy. In this article, we're going to take a deep dive into the top 5 biggest corporate buyouts in history. These are the deals that shook the world and changed the face of their respective industries.

1. Vodafone AirTouch Plc and Mannesmann AG

The merger between Vodafone AirTouch Plc and Mannesmann AG in 1999 is still the biggest in history. This merger, valued at a mind-boggling $202 billion, was a game-changing corporate buyout that transformed the telecom industry. The merger gave birth to Vodafone Group Plc, which remains a major player in the industry today.

2. America Online and Time Warner

In 2000, America Online (AOL) bought Time Warner in one of the most high-profile company mergers of all time. The deal was valued at around $165 billion. However, the merger turned out to be a disaster, with AOL's value plummeting in the years following the merger.

3. Pfizer and Allergan

Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Allergan announced their merger in 2015. This is one of the most noteworthy acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry, with a deal value of around $160 billion. However, the merger was eventually called off due to new U.S. Treasury rules.

4. AT&T and Time Warner

AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner in 2018, valued at approximately $85 billion, is one of the most expensive acquisitions in the telecom industry. The merger has significantly expanded AT&T's media and entertainment portfolio, giving it control over brands like HBO and Warner Bros.

5. Exxon and Mobil

The merger between Exxon and Mobil in 1999 created the largest company in the world at that time – ExxonMobil. This historic company merger, valued at $81 billion, solidified ExxonMobil's position as a leader in the global oil and gas industry.

Here's a table summarizing the top 5 biggest corporate buyouts in history:

Company 1 Company 2 Year Deal Value (in billion $)
Vodafone AirTouch Plc Mannesmann AG 1999 202
America Online Time Warner 2000 165
Pfizer Allergan 2015 160
AT&T Time Warner 2018 85
Exxon Mobil 1999 81

These monumental deals remind us of the sheer scale and impact of corporate buyouts. They highlight the potential for such deals to reshape industries and even economies.

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