Reuters blog archive
from Jack Shafer:
Like children at bedtime, news consumers love nothing more than to be told the same story again and again. Oh sure, they need the names of the principals to change, the location to vary, and the supporting cast of characters to shift. But the closer the popular press can come to retelling a vital and engaging Ur-tale as opposed to building a new one from scratch, the happier readers tend to be.
If today's coverage of Yahoo's $30 million acquisition of Summly — maker of a news-condensing app developed by London schoolboy Nick D’Aloisio — fit the tech-acquisition news template any more snuggly, it would be the first layer of news epidermis. The company's founder is all of 17 years old, a fact that earns prominent mention in the opening sentences of the accounts in the New York Times (Page One), the Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and practically everywhere else.
The story of the child prodigy excelling in any field is sucker-bait for readers. No matter how many times they've been told the story, they still thrill to the exploits of an extraordinarily gifted young person writing brilliant poetry, solving complex mathematical theorems, destroying chess grandmasters, composing symphonies … and writing successful software. D'Aloisio is so young, the Times marvels, that he "wasn't even born when Yahoo was founded in 1994." He was building apps at 12, Bloomberg reports.
That a tech entrepreneur might be on the youngish side of the age divide is not something that should come as a surprise to anyone, especially at this late date in tech history. Consider how many famous tech entrepreneurs made their marks at an early age. Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft at the age of 19. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple at 21. Mark Zuckerberg created an early version of Facebook at 19, while still a student. At 22, Marc Andreessen lead the team that wrote the Mosaic browser. Shawn Fanning released a version of Napster at 19. And so on. Even two generations ago, it was common for tech founders to be relatively young, with William Hewlett and David Packard starting their company, HP , in 1939 at the ages of 26 and 27, respectively. Kudos to the Guardian for acknowledging that tech prodigies aren't rare in its “Other web youth sensations" in today’s Summly piece.
Seth Goldman, co-founder of Bethesda, Maryland-based organic beverage company Honest Tea, said his company maintains a small business culture, even though parent Coca-Cola Co increased its minority stake to full ownership in March.
With 2010 sales of $71 million, the company’s teas can now be found in national retail chains such as Kroger and CVS. Goldman, in Washington recently for an SBA National Small Business week event, spoke to Reuters about the transition.
from Expert Zone:
(The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not represent those of Reuters)
It is fair to say that over the past twenty years in my career as a banker, I have seen some transactions in the telecoms industry which have resulted in significant value erosion.
from Shop Talk:
Walgreen officially owns New York's Duane Reade drugstore chain as of Friday, less than two months after the deal was announced. Walgreen, which got its start in Chicago and is based in a nearby Illinois suburb, is now the biggest drugstore operator in New York City after adding 258 Duane Reade stores, two distribution centers and a corporate office to its 70 stores in the area.
A small percentage of Duane Reade's stores are rather snazzy, some new and others renovated, and stand out compared to other drugstores, including Walgreens stores, in the Big Apple. Those makeovers and Duane Reade's strong push into private label products were some of what attract Walgreen, which is working on its own store upgrades. (But there are still dozens of Duane Reade stores that have yet to get a makeover.)
Only a few days ago, Yelp insiders seemed on the verge of taking home a $500 million holiday gift basket courtesy of Google, which was in talks to acquire the online publisher of local business reviews.
Now all that good cheer appears to have turned to acrimony, with the deal talks in tatters and the two sides pointing fingers.
Japan's Monex Group will buy the securities unit of Orix Corp for about $246 million in stock, in a deal that will create the country's second-largest online broker.
By forming a broker with more than $23 billion in client assets they will be able to cut systems and other costs and beef up product and service line-ups, they said.
from Money on the markets:
Dr Reddy's shares hit an intra-day high of 900 rupees on Friday before closing 3.6 pct up at 865.45 rupees.
Shares in the drugmaker jumped to a 3-1/2-year high on a report that GlaxoSmithline is in talks to buy a 5 percent stake in the company for $150 million.
Cadbury deal lifts UK M&A to $168.8 billion
The $19.3 billion offer by Kraft Foods for UK confectioner Cadbury lifted UK target M&A to $168.8 billion for the year-to-date period, an increase of 19% over last year. The transaction could rank as the second largest non-government acquisition in the UK this year after Xstrata's $42.5 billion bid for Anglo American in June.
Rising stock markets and talk of improving economic confidence have prompted a barrage of analyst notes on how the M&A market is picking up. Check out what I wrote on the subject earlier Thursday .
Here's a few quick points from others:
Citigroup said that as global economic indicators stabilize, financing markets reopen and equity markets recover, hostile takeovers may be poised for a sharp resurgence. "Indeed, many recent high profile M&A transactions have been unsolicited or hostile in nature," a note said.