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Andrea Felsted

Sainsbury Becomes the Prey

Mike Coupe should look at what happened to Kingfisher

A lesson from retail history. In 1999, Kingfisher, a sprawling British shopping empire, agreed an all-share merger with English supermarket chain Asda. At the last minute, Wal-Mart trumped the friendly deal with a 6.7 billion-pound ($9.5 billion) cash offer.

Within a few years, Kingfisher CEO Jeff Mulcahy was gone and the conglomerate broken up.