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from Breakingviews:

Voracious buyers find the meat on Sara Lee’s bones

By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Voracious buyers are finding the meat on Sara Lee’s bones. The old consumer conglomerate broke itself up into meat-focused Hillshire Brands and coffee-roaster D.E Master Blenders 1753 in 2012 after spurning takeover offers worth about $12 billion, according to press reports at the time. It looked like a raw deal - until now.

Assume Sara Lee had accepted an offer in 2011, whether from private equity shop Apollo or the team of Brazilian beef giant JBS and Blackstone. Shareholders would have received a 33 percent premium to the company’s value before deal rumors started. Had they then put the cash into either an S&P 500 tracker fund or a basket of consumer stocks, they would have made a return of around 50 percent, leaving them with $18 billion.

That is only now starting to look possible from the path Sara Lee actually took. And it’s all thanks to the current cook-off for Hillshire between Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods, which both covet the porky margins from selling Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park frankfurters.

from Breakingviews:

Li Ka-shing still has what investors want

By Una Galani

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Li Ka-shing may be an octogenarian but he still knows when to buy and sell. An analysis of 16 listed parts of the Hong Kong tycoon’s telecoms-to-energy empire, with a combined market capitalization of more than $170 billion, shows a mixed record of delivering shareholder returns. Yet Li’s flagship holding companies have matched or beaten the market over the past two and five years. For investors, it pays to invest as close as possible to the man himself.

from Breakingviews:

South Korea’s next leader will face a currency war

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

By Andy Mukherjee

Every new South Korean president has to contend with sabre-rattling by Pyongyang. It won’t be any different this time. North Korea’s recent rocket launch shows just what kind of reception the next occupant of Seoul’s Blue House can expect from across the demilitarized zone.

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