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Offshore Cash of $2 Trillion Sparks Hunt for Tax-Friendly Deals

What’s greasing the wheels for the rise in mergers by U.S. companies? The tax man.

Two tax-code quirks -- one that charges U.S. companies when they repatriate overseas earnings, the other that allows them to claim a foreign domicile without moving their senior leadership abroad -- are motivating U.S. companies to buy overseas counterparts in part to lower their bills.