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Major corporations 'could be hacked during takeover bids'

Major firms may be targeted by hackers as they negotiate takeovers, a report has suggested.

05 November 2012

Companies involved in business negotiations over possible mergers and acquisitions may be prone to being targeted by hackers seeking to access sensitive information on the process, it has been claimed.

A Bloomberg report has quoted three people said to be "familiar with the situation" stating that the FBI told Coca-Cola in March 2009 that cyber criminals stole secret documentation about the firm's proposed takeover of China Huiyuan Juice Group.

The deal, which would have been the largest ever takeover of a Chinese company at the time, collapsed shortly afterwards.

Other major companies have also been targeted in this way, Bloomberg noted, with UK foreign secretary William Hague stating in a speech earlier this year that such crime needs to be curbed.

Otherwise, he argued, "they could have a devastating impact on the future earning potential of many major companies and the economic well-being of countries".

Two drinks companies who will hope nothing hinders their proposed merger are Britvic and AG Barr.

Talks are ongoing between the two, with last week seeing the Takeover Panel agreeing to a second extension of the deadline by which time they need to declare an intention to do a deal or abandon the plan.

Source: Bloomberg 5th November

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