Publishing M&A static

A survey by KPMG blames the collapse on tough market conditions, a slump in advertising and low consumer-spend. KPMG believes M&A activity will pick up in the next 12 months for strategic reasons. It argues consolidation is the only ‘viable route to survival’ in the current economic climate.

Vivendi has rejected a £9.5bn bid from US billionaire Marvin Davis. Vivendi’s accounts are being investigated in France and it faces a criminal investigation in the US.

It is looking to reduce its debts by selling non-core assets worth £4.5bn by the end of this year, followed by another disposal of £10bn in 2004.

It rejected the approach from Davis, a former media tycoon, saying it is not looking for an outright sale.

Ailing insurer Royal & SunAlliance announced a £57m sale of its German operation, including its subsidiary Securitas, to the Baloise group of Switzerland. It said it intends to focus on sustainable business in a major restructuring to strengthen its balance sheet. The UK’s oldest insurer suffered a severe blow from asbestos claims, flood liabilities and general market slump.

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