Reuters blog archive
As Facebook is expected to submit paperwork to regulators for its initial public offering, Reuters Social Media Editor, Anthony De Rosa, uncovers three problems standing in the way of Facebook's future growth.
Which exchange will Facebook choose to "friend"? Bloomberg reports NYSE and Nasdaq are competing now for what may be the biggest ever by a technology company.
European Union regulators have blocked the merger of exchange operators Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext to avoid giving them a stranglehold on the European futures market. "The merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
The failure of the NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Borse tie-up is a stark reminder to dealmakers that the fate of their work often rests in government hands, Deal Journal writes.
Among the series of distractions ahead of Groupon’s IPO last month was the Mason Memo, WSJ's Deal Journal reported late Wednesday. Newly disclosed documents shed light on how Groupon was forced to explain the memo to the SEC.
Alibaba Group has hired a Washington lobbying firm in a sign that the Chinese e-commerce company would be willing to make a bid for all of Yahoo in the event that talks to unwind their Asian partnership fail.
General Electric continued on its M&A warpath with a $3.2 billion agreement to acquire France’s Coverteam, a maker of automation systems used in the oil and gas sector, marking the latest in a series of deals in the energy industry. But, after some $11 billion in acquisitions in the energy sector over the past six months, GE plans to slow its pace of dealmaking, a top executive said.
EBay said it plans to buy e-commerce company GSI Commerce, which owns Web businesses such as the flash site Rue La La and ShopRunner, for $2.4 billion. Ebay said it will offer shareholders of GSI $29.25 per share, a 51 percent premium over its closing price on Friday.
Tabula announced $108 million in funding, one of the largest venture rounds in a decade for a chip company, writes VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall. The company says it can create programmable logic devices for $200, compared to a cost of more than $1,000 offered by competitors.
Despite upheaval in the Middle East and Japan, worldwide M&A have risen 58 percent to $717 billion so far this year, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters, marking the best start to a year since 2007 and building on last year's tentative recovery. Analysts expect to see continued strong activity in mining and energy, but some warned it's still too early to see the full implications of the recent crises.
Deal-making in Asia got off to a strong start in 2011, with cashed-up companies tapping investment opportunities in sectors from energy to industrials, and bankers say the transaction pipeline for the rest of the year looks healthy.
Walgreen plans to buy drugstore.com for $429 million, expanding the online presence of the world's largest drugstore chain. Drugstore.com shareholders will receive $3.80 a share, which is more than double the company's closing stock price on Wednesday.
A sale of the British government's $107 billion stake in Lloyds Banking Group and RBS may start next year, Bloomberg said, citing four people familiar with the matter.
Bankers said Sprint had a handful of options after AT&T swooped in to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but none of them would give it the clout to compete in a market dominated by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which would collectively hold an almost 80 percent market share. Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said he had no interest in buying Sprint.
Charles Schwab will buy online brokerage optionsXpress Holdings in a $1 billion deal that gives Schwab a stable of the most active retail traders, as options continue to boom.
AT&T's surprise $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom will create a new leader in the U.S. mobile sector and likely draw scrutiny. The regulatory challenge will be predicting what the dominant form of communication will be 3 to 5 years from now, analyst Evan Stewart said. The deal will take a year to close, in which time customers are expected to see improved network quality, according to AT&T.
Sprint Nextel risks being further eclipsed by Verizon and the new AT&T, which together would boast 230.3 million customers in the U.S., compared to Sprint's less than 50 million, writes Michael J. de la Merced and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.
from Funds Hub:
Pension schemes are moving away from the usual equity/bond/real estate mix to put their eggs in as many baskets as possible. No wonder then that the USS -- the 31.6 billion pounds UK universities pension fund -- is putting an extra 1.5 percent of its assets, or about 474 million pounds, into hedge funds, as its CIO Roger Gray tells Reuters.
If you are rushing to the phone to pitch business with Mr Gray, however, STOP a minute fund manager: be prepared, the USS is not only eyeing alpha, it is going to ask a few questions about how alpha is distributed and how investors are protected.
from Africa News blog:
Less than a month after launching his election campaign in a blaze of optimism, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has found himself fighting a potentially damaging propaganda war over last week's car bombs.
Jonathan's assertion that rebels from his Niger Delta home region were not responsible for the twin bomb attacks near an independence day parade last Friday has laid him open to a barrage of criticism from rivals who accuse him of partisanship.
As the first head of state from the southern Niger Delta, Jonathan already faced a tough battle convincing some in the ruling party to back his election bid and jettison a gentleman's agreement that means the next president should be a northerner.
The unwritten pact in the People's Democratic Party (PDP) is meant to prevent tribalism and regional rivalries becoming a factor in federal politics by ensuring power rotates every two terms between north and south.
Jonathan's comments that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which claimed the blasts, was not responsible and suggestions from the authorities that associates of his main rival, former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, may be involved have infuriated and united his northern opponents.
"The man ... who only a few weeks ago moved us with lofty words of hope and a vision of transformation, shot himself in the foot and then put the bloody foot in his mouth," wrote Tolu Ogunlesi, a journalist on Nigeria's Next newspaper.
"The incident momentarily stripped him of his presidential garb and wrapped him in the gaudy garments of a tribal chieftain," he said.
Babangida and three other northerners running against him in the primaries issued a joint statement slamming Jonathan for "exonerating" MEND and accusing him of using the bomb blasts as a pretext to intimidate his opponents.
A separate group of northern politicians led by ex-finance minister and founding PDP member Adamu Ciroma described it as a "rude shock to the nation" and called on Jonathan to resign.
Their fury was piqued by the brief detention of Babangida's campaign director Raymond Dokpesi for questioning over the blasts by the secret service on Monday.
The presidency said the investigations were being carried out on the back of U.S. and British as well as Nigerian intelligence and that anybody could be invited for questioning.
"It is unfortunate that an unprecedented national tragedy of this nature has been politicised by people whose only interest is what they can get from the country and not what the country can get from them," Jonathan said on his Facebook page.
"They specialise in playing one part of the country against the other and riding on sectional sentiments to promote their narrow ambitions," he said.
Jonathan started his election campaign almost three weeks ago on a high, having unveiled plans to privatise the power sector and end chronic power shortages, better manage the country's oil savings and fight criminality.
He pledged a new era of leadership "uncontaminated by the prejudices of the past" and his campaign team hoped the momentum would carry him into the primaries, originally due this month.
But the timetable was revised to allow the electoral authorities to overhaul voter lists, handing his northern rivals more time to steel themselves.
The bomb blasts were another blow to his strategy.
Beneath all the finger pointing and rhetoric, none of Nigeria's political class emerge well from the episode.
Jonathan was vice president when Henry Okah, a senior militant figure charged in Johannesburg this week with conspiring to carry out the attacks, had treason and gun-running charges against him dropped under an amnesty deal.
Aliyu Gusau, another northern presidential candidate who has criticised Jonathan, was the country's national security adviser until three weeks ago. Security experts say Friday's attacks would have been months in the planning.
Babangida's opponents say his assertion that Jonathan does not have a firm grip on national security is rich coming from a man largely remembered for his 1993 cancellation of an election generally regarded as fair which led to civil unrest and a bloody crackdown by the security forces.
"Politicians in Nigeria are very good at arguing with each other," said Antony Goldman, a Nigeria expert and head of London-based PM Consulting.
"But the temptation to try to extract political advantage from a national emergency reveals the deeper issue that ten years after the end of military rule, the whole political class struggles to make itself relevant to the people."
The propaganda war will rumble on and it is unclear what impact, if any, it will have on the candidates' fortunes. But it bodes ill for any hopes that the elections will be based on real issues rather than scaremongering and personality clashes.
"The bomb blast is a shame because it could have been prevented, but you know in Nigeria we don't pay attention to the things that really matter," said Kehinde Osho, 24, a graphic artist in the commercial hub Lagos.
"Elections are next year and the voters are not even registered yet. We are fighting a lost battle -- we won't have a credible election with this kind of preparation."