According to New York-headquartered Dealogic, a self-styled global monitor of corporate finance activity and deal management systems, the planet's most acquisitive company in 2001 was WPP Group, the advertising and marketing services conglomerate steered by chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell.

WPP, which has 950 offices spanning 92 countries, made a total of twenty-seven bids – 26 willingly – from January through November this year, aggregated value $512 million (£358m). In a richly ironic switch of sentiment, WPP, initially the eager predator, was forced by Britain's Takeover Panel to honour its accepted bid for the previously reluctant Tempus Group.

Second in voracity with fourteen acquisitions is the relatively unknown Dublin-based building materials group CRH. South African Breweries took third place with twelve deals followed by Oasis Healthcare in fourth place with the same number of acquisitions. Fifth in line is Vodafone which made ten acquisitions totalling $13.2billion.

News source: Financial Times