Pulte and Centex announced today that they would merge to become the largest player in the homebuilding industry, dwarfing rival D.R. Horton. The $3 billion stock-for-stock merger is a sign that at least Pulte’s management thinks a bottom may be near in the housing bust. The deal reminds me of the big oil company mergers of the 1980s and 1990s, when, confronted by low prices, big names such as Gulf, Getty, Mobil, Texaco and Arco disappeared.
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