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U.S. veterans of takeover wars see rich targets in Europe

Strolling down the Champs-Elysees one day early last year, Guy Wyser-Pratte noticed a shoe store owned by French retailer Groupe Andre. Nearby shops were thronged with customers, but there wasn't a single shopper in the Andre store, which sits on some of Paris' priciest real estate. "I said to myself: `This place needs a new approach,"' the New York-based arbitrageur recalls. And so, Wyser-Pratte bought a 9% stake in Groupe Andre, then orchestrated a shareholder rebellion that led on Apr. 5 to the ouster of the company's top management and board of directors.

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