Re: Has this ever ended well?
Unless the debt can be magicked away then the resulting entity is normally to endebted to survive. What generally happens is that the merger is followed by restructuring, spin-offs and sales, etc. For example, Xerox might want to focus on the printer and copier market and look for a buyer for the other stuff.
For a while 3G Capital had a good reputation for these kinds of deals but they've started to sour over the last few years. And, of course, this is the model of the company that bought Broadcom. But a lot of the time the financial engineering is what determines whether something is a success or not.