It has been a big few days for megamergers — more specifically for megamerger flops. First, Christo Wiese’s $30bn attempt to combine Steinhoff and Shoprite had to be abandoned because other shareholders so clearly didn’t support it. Further afield, consumer goods giant Kraft Heinz had to abandon its $143bn bid for Anglo-Dutch group Unilever, which made it clear it was resolutely opposed to any deal. Sadly, that means we won’t have the many months of dramatic to-and-fro negotiations and grandstanding that often go with such deals or the drawn-out process of seeking regulatory clearances in jurisdictions around the world. Shareholders in our two home-grown groups are not too unhappy about this. Shares in both Shoprite and Steinhoff jumped 7% on Monday on news that the two had terminated their talks. Though Wiese initially had the support of the Public Investment Commission for the deal, which could have led to a full takeover of Shoprite by Steinhoff, many of Shoprite’s other sharehol...

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