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LONDON — Mergers and acquisitions have been much in the news in the last few weeks. These have raised some controversial issues. One of these concerns the role of private equity. Another is that of cross-border mergers.

The American private equity firm of KKR recently teamed up with the deputy chairman of Alliance Boots, a major British chain of retail pharmacies, to launch a takeover bid for the company. Questions have been asked about possible conflicts of interest on the part of the deputy chairman, who stands to gain hugely from the deal.

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