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With supply and demand moving back into balance and buyers on the prowl, the time is right for would-be sellers to hit the market.
The company has agreed to back three activist candidates for reelection to the board as part of a broader deal that would see the firms sell down their holdings.
The pharma giant is making an upfront payment of $800 million and committing to up to $450 million more in milestone payments.
The manufacturer could again be a target for activists if it doesn't find growth, and that could mean a sale of the entire company.
The cash-and-stock acquisition of the TPG Capital-backed pharmacy-benefit manager follows rival CVS' successful purchase of Caremark.
The automaker's executives are trying to do the right thing by investing in technology and rebuilding a captive finance unit. But investors want a chunk of the company's cash.
Both companies have vied in recent years for contracts, including one that Harris won to modernize the air traffic control system.
Boeing, Lockheed, ManTech and Esterline rank among the potential beneficiaries as international tensions push up an already robust spending plan proposed by the Obama administration.
The New York-based buyer has been seeking new targets since an unsuccessful $120 billion bid for AstraZeneca.
The deal is sure to face antitrust scrutiny, though competition has changed dramatically since the companies' ill-fated merger attempt in 1997.