May 9, 2013 14:35 UTC

ENRC board needs to summon its poker skills

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By Kevin Allison

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

ENRC’s independent directors need to practice their poker skills. They face the task of recommending or rejecting a possible bid for the hapless miner from a consortium of its biggest shareholders. The directors’ hand is weak, but they shouldn’t just fold.

May 6, 2013 19:25 UTC

BMC deal shows how activist playbook brings profit

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

Elliott Management has once again pushed a technology firm into selling itself. This time BMC Software is going for $6.9 billion to a private equity group led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital. At $46.25 a share, the 2 percent headline premium over Friday’s closing price may seem tiny. But that’s more than a 30 percent return for Elliott, adding to its record of similar successes at Novell, Packeteer and Blue Coat.

May 3, 2013 17:53 UTC

PepsiCo resistance against activists looks futile

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By Robert Cyran

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

A PepsiCo breakup looks like a matter of time. Investors with a hankering for corporate restructurings have taken stakes in the $128 billion snacks and drinks conglomerate. Splitting the two operations in some way would be straight out of their standard playbook. Though the company has opposed such efforts in the past, the success of Nelson Peltz at Cadbury and his interest in another food biggie, Mondelez, may be hard to resist.

Apr 30, 2013 09:04 UTC

Alibaba spots pricey treasure in Weibo’s network

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Alibaba has spotted hidden treasure in Sina Weibo’s social network. The e-commerce giant is paying a punchy price for roughly 18 percent of China’s microblogging phenomenon, a business that has not yet celebrated its fourth birthday and is still working out how to generate revenue.

Apr 29, 2013 19:00 UTC

Chrysler value spat may offer Fiat silver lining

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By Rob Cox

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

It took about a generation before Italian immigrants to the United States adopted the ways of their new home and shook off those of the old country. Italy’s premier industrial enterprise may do it in a matter of years. A spat over Fiat’s plans to fully acquire Chrysler, Detroit’s number three carmaker, could hasten the process.

Apr 25, 2013 15:30 UTC

Pressure builds on Vodafone to make U.S. exit

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By Quentin Webb

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Pressure is building on Vodafone to make a U.S. exit. The latest in a string of deal stories says partner Verizon Communications has hired advisers for a potential buyout of the duo’s mobile joint venture, Verizon Wireless.

Apr 18, 2013 21:24 UTC

Hostile drug deal gets too clever for its own good

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

Royalty Pharma is suffering from some self-inflicted wounds in its hostile pursuit of Elan. The finance firm tried to use the drug maker’s $1 billion stock buyback to swoop up the entire company. But it devised a puzzlingly complex tender offer that was too clever for its own good. The scheme ended up replacing a long-term shareholder with other investors far more likely to demand a chunkier premium.

Apr 17, 2013 21:22 UTC

Gunsmith finds cold shoulders on Wall Street

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

 

Financiers typically turn away fees as willingly as dogs give up steaks. But Wall Street banks are leery of financing bids for gun maker Freedom Group for fear of damaging their reputations. Making assault rifles, it turns out, has joined pornography on the list of activities with risks that money can’t hide.

Apr 9, 2013 22:21 UTC

J.C. Penney exposes inefficiency valuing CEOs

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By Richard Beales

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

The debacle at J.C. Penney exposes a glaring inefficiency in how the market values corporate chieftains. When the struggling U.S. retailer hired Apple whiz Ron Johnson in 2012, the company’s equity value spiked by more than $1 billion. On Monday evening, news of his departure added $350 million. The return of ex-Chief Executive Mike Ullman – the man Johnson replaced – swiftly erased some $700 million. Such big swings make no sense.

COMMENT

A lack of products, focus, and brand image are serious weaknesses for any company. A CEO has to be flexible and willing to use test marketing strategies. Johnson was neither. I would suggest that the European firm Migros look at at Penney as an acquisitions candidate.

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Apr 2, 2013 20:37 UTC

MetroPCS owners can forget a standalone option

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By Robert Cyran and Jeffrey Goldfarb
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

MetroPCS owners should forget about a standalone option. Dissident investors John Paulson and Peter Schoenfeld persuaded two proxy services that the cellphone operator is selling out on the cheap to rival T-Mobile USA and that independence is a better option. While the agitating may bring a sweeter bid, MetroPCS is unlikely to prosper or exist for long on its own.