Final Word from Monday, March 14, 2016

Say what you like about Andrej Babiš's Louis XIV complex ("the party is me"), his strained relationship with the truth ("I never said, 'the party is me'") or the big chip on his shoulder, but there is no denying that he is an expert at taking over companies. Agrofert has a larger M&A department than many Czech investment banks and has used it to buy hundreds of companies. Many of these takeovers are done in a hostile fashion, as witnessed by the media comments of Bohumír Rada (Agro Jevišovice) and Marko Pařík (United Bakeries). A few of the acquisitions are friendly, and some are related-party transactions within the same group of companies. What about the sale and subsequent repurchase of the Stork's Nest farm? The best way to answer questions about its ownership history is to turn the complete M&A file over to an outside expert. The admitted problem with this is finding anyone who can be objective about Babiš. [Czech Republic ANO I am the state mergers & acquisitions]

Glossary of difficult words

Louis XIV - "I am the state";

strained - not relaxed or comfortable; tense or uneasy;

to have a chip on one's shoulder - to have a deeply ingrained grievance, typically about a particular thing;

M&A - mergers & acquisitions;

hostile - unfriendly;

related-party transaction - a business deal or arrangement between two parties that are joined by a special relationship prior to the deal.

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