Europe passed the US in corporate dealmaking in August thanks to two large transactions, including a spin-off and a hostile bid. The total of US mergers and acquisitions for the year to date of $849 billion, however, remains ahead of Europe's $778 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Geneva-based Richemont, the luxury goods group that owns Cartier and Piaget jewelry, agreed to spin off its stake in British American Tobacco in a move prompted by tax changes in Luxembourg. Richemont, which is controlled by South Africa's billionaire Rupert family, and South- Africa-based Remgro jointly hold a 27% stake in BAT through R&R Holdings. The proposed spin-off transaction was the largest in the world in August, with a ranked value of nearly $20 billion.
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