Jun 13, 2014 19:17 UTC

Priceline’s OpenTable buy is costly appetizer

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By Robert Cyran

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

Priceline definitely didn’t pick the budget option in its own search for expansion. The online travel outfit is paying a 46 percent premium – $2.6 billion in cash – to snag OpenTable, the listed restaurant reservation site. Each helps small businesses and customers find each other. But the tariff only makes sense if Priceline can plug many more of both into OpenTable worldwide.

Jun 11, 2014 18:23 UTC

Siemens needs more than Mitsubishi to win Alstom

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

Siemens is smart to team up with Japanese engineering peer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a potential bid for Alstom’s power assets. But this probably won’t be enough for the German group to see off rival interest from America’s General Electric.

Jun 9, 2014 17:57 UTC

M&A shows symptoms of overheating

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By Robert Cyran and Kevin Allison

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

The merger market is showing symptoms of overheating. Global deal volume is up sharply this year – up 63 percent according to Bernstein research and 71 percent by Thomson Reuters’ tally. Monday’s announcements, meanwhile, hint at toppiness.

Jun 6, 2014 16:13 UTC

Facebook is near-universal buyer in virtual world

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By Richard Beales

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

In a virtual world, Facebook could justify buying not just WhatsApp but almost every other social networking and chat app on the planet. The company’s $160 billion market cap values its 1.3 billion monthly active users at nearly $130 each. Most of its peers look much cheaper. Clamp on an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset – the product of another company just bought by Facebook – and there’s a case for Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg gobbling them all up.

Jun 5, 2014 14:17 UTC

Gannett carve-up is just a matter of Time

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

A Gannett breakup is really just a matter of Time. The $6.6 billion owner of USA Today and other newspapers isn’t getting much credit for its TV transformation. As Time Warner sets free its publishing arm this week, a Breakingviews analysis suggests Gannett should do the same.

Jun 4, 2014 18:26 UTC

Voracious buyers find the meat on Sara Lee’s bones

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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.

Jun 3, 2014 16:31 UTC

Kellogg might make Heinz-style Buffett target

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By Kevin Allison

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

Kellogg looks like someone wants to eat it for breakfast. Takeover speculation has helped the U.S. company’s shares rise more than 8 percent since April, bestowing it with a $25 billion market value. Kellogg may be too big for a Hillshire-like takeover battle, and carries too much debt to make a traditional leveraged buyout palatable. But a deal like the one Warren Buffett and a group of Brazilian financiers struck for ketchup-maker Heinz last year might work.

Jun 2, 2014 18:47 UTC

Valeant urges $54 bln deal with carrot, two sticks

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By Robert Cyran

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

Valeant is pushing its $54 billion deal with the help of a carrot and two sticks. The pharmaceutical group raised its offer for Allergan again on Friday, on the condition that the board of its target cooperates. Meanwhile hedge fund boss Bill Ackman on Monday threatened to unseat six directors – and Valeant could yet decide to go fully hostile. But questions over Valeant’s own stock remain its biggest weakness.

May 29, 2014 06:16 UTC

Alibaba hints at overseas push with SingPost stake

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Alibaba hasn’t even completed its U.S. initial public offering, but already it is striking out overseas. A $249 million stake in logistics group Singapore Post targets one area where the Chinese e-commerce group may be able to apply its talent. But the concrete benefits of the deal are unclear – besides focusing investors’ attention on the potential value of growth outside the People’s Republic.

May 28, 2014 06:17 UTC

Korean chat app sends mixed valuation messages

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By Robyn Mak 

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

What’s the value of mobile chat apps? Investors have been scratching their heads about the topic ever since Facebook slapped a $19 billion price tag on WhatsApp earlier this year. The recent backdoor listing of South Korea’s Kakao offers a new data point. But its user metrics and revenue numbers still offer a mixed message on valuation.