Over the last year-and-a-half, as the economy has worsened, the M&A business has become a game of "on again, off again." One of the most recent examples of a company that wanted make a huge purchase and then got cold feet is Dow Chemical (DOW), which announced it would buy specialty chemical firm Rohm and Haas (ROH) for $78 a share. But that was over six months ago.
In the meantime, the global demand for chemicals has collapsed. Dow has dropped to a 52-week low and has cut its dividend to save cash. In the meantime, Rohm has taken Dow to court to force the transaction to close. Most news reporting about the transaction has indicated that the offer Dow made had almost no outs in it. And so, on the court house steps, Dow decided it was out of options for dumping Rohm and opted not to be humiliated in front of a judge.