Deal Mania!

Suddenly, Europe is awash in mergers and acquisitions. The scale is American, and so is the style: Hostile deals, huge debt, fat fees for bankers. And this is just the start

Milanese investment banker Ruggiero Magnoni has a daily schedule that seems impossible to cram into 24 hours. On one morning in late March, the head of European mergers and acquisitions for Lehman Brothers Inc. is in Munich, closing a deal that will bring Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal into the tightly held German media empire of Leo Kirch. Next, Magnoni jets to Milan to strategize on Olivetti's $58.5 billion hostile bid for giant phone company Telecom Italia. Finally, he rushes to London to line up the $24.5 billion financing Olivetti needs. Between meetings, Magnoni, 48, finalizes contracts for the team of London-based bankers Lehman has just snatched away from rival Deutsche Bank.

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