Coincidence? Probably not!

Only a day after privately held Koch Industries announced that it was buying Georgia-Pacific (GP) in a $13.2 billion deal, Kimberly Clark’s (KMB) board just happened to make some changes to its executive severance plan according to this 8-K they filed late Friday.

A quick comparison between the 8-K and the proxy reveals that while the basic things in the plan haven’t changed — three times base salary plus target bonus and the value of restricted stock — the number of people covered by the plan has. While the proxy notes that the “named executive officers” are covered by the plan, the newly filed 8-K refers to that same group as well as “certain eligible executives”. Unfortunately, the filing doesn’t provide any clarity on exactly how many additional people the plan covers. But regulars already know that expanding the number of people covered by an upper-management severance plan — as both Maytag (MYG) and WellChoice (WC) did shortly before they were put into play — often means merger mania is in the air.

PS: Thanks to my subsititute, who prefers to remain anonymous, for filling in for me last week. Though he was blogging at night since he has a day-job (and blogging at work is a sure-fire way to get fired), I’ll be resuming my morning posting.