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We are now in the midst of what is generally regarded as the third great merger wave in our industrial history. A few statistics will indicate the nature and size of the present movement. The amount of assets being acquired by acquisition is immense by any absolute standard. The figures have risen almost geometrically in recent years. From 1948 to 1954, the assets involved in acquisitions of medium-size corporations (those with over ten million dollars in assets) averaged less than a billion dollars per year. From 1955 through 1962, the annual average was approximately two billion dollars. In 1963 and 1964, the average rose to three billion dollars. By 1966, the annual average value of medium-sized corporate acquisitions had risen to four billion dollars. During 1967, the figure doubled. In 1968 the figure had risen to twelve billion dollars and the figures for the first three months of 1969 indicate that the annual rate will be over eighteen million dollars.
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