Portugal - A victory for the bureaucrats

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When a private bank due to be sold to a foreign group ends up in state hands it's hardly a sign that all's well with the European single market. This was the outcome of the stand-off between the European Commission and the Portuguese government over the Champalimaud banking group. Spain's BSCH attempted to take a stake in the group, sparked off a huge row about cross-border M&A and ended up with only some of the pickings. Other key assets have ended up under state control, even if only temporarily. From every angle the Champalimaud affair is an example of the wrong way to make takeovers. For octogenarian banker António Champalimaud it was a final chapter in a lifetime of battles with bureaucrats. Brian Caplen reports