The news wires were alive at the start of the week with announcements of three big deals among Global 5000 firms.

Unilever (#129) announced it is acquiring Alberto Culver (#2518)

WalMart (#3) is acquiring South Africa’s Massmart retailing organization.

Southwest Airlines (#831) is acquiring AirTran (#1933)

It has been well covered in the business press that corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash during these wild economic times.  Looks like some of them are using it to enhance their market positions and drive growth.