In brief: Drugs merger collapse 'a bit of a shock'

Jeremy Marriage, the Linklaters lawyer advising SmithKline Beecham, said the collapse of his client's merger talks with Glaxo Wellcome last week came 'as a bit of a shock'. SmithKline is understood to have broken off the talks because it could not get some of the people it wanted in management. Speculation mounted last week that Glaxo would mount a hostile bid for its rival. Slaughters May partner Glen James, advising Glaxo, said he 'had no instructions to talk to the press'. Marriage said a lot of legal work had been done to ensure the deal would get regulatory approval.