The David Jones/Myer merger ordeal continues apace. Today, DJs revealed it has brought on Port Jackson Partners to evaluate — and you will like this — “the synergies that can be extracted” from a combined department store network.

The more this story develops, the more it seems likely that the two companies will eventually seek to join forces, pending ACCC approval. Should they fail to come to an agreement, most likely a share swap deal, they will join this list of appliance industry mergers that never quite materialised:

David Jones and EB Private Equity

Halfway between an elaborate prank and international intrigue is the story of Luxembourg investment fund EB Private Equity, a company that apparently specialised in marketing non-alcoholic vodka to predominantly Muslim countries. Why this company would be interested in DJs was never fully flushed out, though the retailer was so convinced it was legitimate it placed the company in a trading halt in June 2012 to investigate a potential sale. Turns out EB Private Equity was nothing more than a collection of asset-less two-bob companies being run out of a Newcastle, England, post office box. Still, David Jones investors were enamoured by the supposed $1.65 billion takeover: the share price increased 20 per cent while the story was circulating.

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Sunbeam and Breville

The world of blenders and processors was rocked in May 2009 when Sunbeam’s parent company, GUD Holdings, purchased 25 million Breville shares — just shy of 20 per cent — for 72 cents apiece. Five months later, GUD announced a takeover bid, offering a 42 per cent premium on Breville’s share price. We never got to find out if Breville’s shareholders – principally Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments – would accept this offer, as the ACCC stepped in to nix the deal. “GUD Holdings and Breville Group are by far the two largest players in small appliances overall…and for some products they have a dominant sales share in excess of 90 per cent,” was the explanation. Its takeover bid vanquished, GUD sold off its Breville stake two years later for a tidy $66 million pre-tax profit.

Woolworths and JB Hi-Fi

This was definitely the acquisition rumour de jour in the late 2000s, as the still inchoate JB Hi-Fi kept eyeing aggressive expansion and Woolworth sought out a more profitable consumer electronics venture. The speculation reached a feverish intensity in November 2008 when the AFR reported the two companies had struck a $1.4 billion deal, only for it to collapse due to personality issues. Both Woolworths and JB strenuously denied this: “JB is not involved in any discussions with either Woolworths or any other party concerning a potential control transaction,” the company said.

Retravision Northern, Southern and WA

Like an extended family that just can’t stand to spend Christmas together, the several Retravision companies independently representing the states kept threatening to form a unified front but could never quite get the job done. The last attempt was the most promising: Southern and Northern were to merge, creating an Eastern Seaboard retail group. This raised the West’s eyebrows, and in a few weeks later, the plan was to create a single Retravision entity being run out of Perth by CEO Paul Holt. Before the supergroup could start realising any efficiencies, however, Retravision Southern collapsed, triggering a chain of events that saw some members switch to Harvey Norman, Betta Home Living or Kambos; the Western arm selling the brand to Narta and the orphaned stores organising themselves into Leading Appliances.

Harvey Norman and Myer

Long before Myer tried to merge with David Jones, Harvey Norman tried to take it off the old Coles Myer’s hands. Back in 2006, Harvey Norman was one of four final bidders for Myer’s 61 stores and flagship Melbourne city property. Harvey Norman was eventually outbid by a consortium led by Texas Pacific Group, which paid $1.4 billion for the department store chain.