Japan Inc.'s Buying Tour Reaches Britain
It's been more than a decade since Japanese companies went on this kind of buying binge. Japan Tobacco's $14.7 billion bid for British cigarette maker Gallaher Group (GLH), announced on Dec. 15, ranks as the biggest cross-border takeover by a Japanese company. The deal, which is pending approval by Gallaher's shareholders, would bring together the world's fifth- and third-largest tobacco makers, respectively. Japan Tobacco would pocket some well-known names, including Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut, and gain a presence in growing markets like Russia and Eastern Europe.
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