Swiss Miss

The Quaker man in lederhosen? A rumor that Swiss giant Nestle would bid for Quaker Oats sent shares of the foodmaker up 18%, to 81.875, by June 20. Nestle killed off the frenzy the next day, denying any interest. No surprise. Analysts agree Nestle could expand Quaker's Gatorade sales overseas. But cereals would be problematic: Nestle already has a European cereal venture with General Mills. And although a merger of the companies' pet-food units makes sense on paper, neither business is stellar. Still, Sandoz' deal to buy Gerber Products had investors primed for another Swiss invasion.

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