In a move expected by many analysts, Santa Claus [trading as St Nick on the holiday market] has been acquired by retail giant Wal-mart in a deal estimated to be worth billions. Santa Claus, a long time family run franchise has been on the rocks for the last decade with increased competition in the manufacturing, production and delivery sectors but still engenders a great deal of goodwill and brand recognition worldwide.

While details of the merger while still sketchy, it is understood that Santa Claus will become a registered Wal-mart brand and in exchange Wal-mart will provide a better manufacturing and distribution system. Current Santa Claus employees are guaranteed continued employment through 2010 as long as they remain un-unionised and undergo new skills training, a Wal-mart spokesman said today. The Santa Claus workforce consists of between three and five thousand skilled minority workers and low overhead, however with the advent of automation and a greater demand for electronics the organisation found itself unable to compete.

The merger is expected to go smoothly, with CEO and COO, Santa Claus retiring effective immediately to spend more time with his family. Other long time stalwarts of the organisation; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph; are expected to stay on until December 2008 to help in the transition of delivery systems.

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