ASB’s jokers don’t have the last laugh

A tale emerged recently of a prank played on John Coombe, finance director over at GlaxoSmithKline and leading member of the Accounting Standards Board.

As, in his former role as GlaxoWellcome FD, he was grappling with its merger with Smithkline Beecham, prankster colleagues over at the ASB compiled a spoof standard on merger accounting.

It explained that a slight change in UK rules would mean the merger would be classed as an acquisition, threatening to throw another spanner into the already complicated workings of the deal. Apparently, he saw through the joke and had the last laugh as worried ASB chiefs rang him later in the day to check he hadn’t gone and cancelled the merger.

So next time your planning a merger, watch out.

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