The dumbest deals of 2013

We take a look at some of the lowlights from the business world in 2013.

Caterpillar-ERA Mining Machines

2013 deals cat era
  • Deal: Caterpillar buys ERA Mining Machines

Caterpillar has long wanted a bigger presence in China. It's acquisition of ERA, a China-based manufacture of mining machines, didn't help. In January, Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500) was forced write-off $580 million, or 90% of what it paid for the deal. Sales at ERA has been inflated by a long-running accounting fraud at one of its divisions. And Caterpillar was duped into thinking the company was worth much more than it actually was. Other U.S. companies had considered buying ERA before Caterpillar, but balked. Caterpillar might want to hire some of their advisors.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 24 2013 11:50 AM ET
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