Oct 7, 2014 13:50 UTC

Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore

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By Quentin Webb

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

Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore. On Oct. 7 the miner admitted rebuffing an approach in July from the commodity trading giant. Fair enough. The timing seems expedient following a slump in Rio’s dominant product, iron ore. A $160 billion “merger” also smacks of a takeover on the cheap. Rio can justifiably demand a real premium or no deal.

Sep 30, 2014 20:09 UTC

Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

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By Rob Cox

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

The ski business is amid a flurry – not of snow, but of deals. At the center of the action is Vail Resorts, a $3 billion publicly traded operator in an industry traditionally dominated by family and local owners. The company is upending winter-sports convention in a variety of ways. Chief among them is trying to prove that it can control the weather with some corporate finance.

Sep 30, 2014 16:47 UTC

PayPal forced to rev after eBay’s belated U-turn

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By Rob Cyran

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

PayPal is compelled to accelerate after eBay’s belated U-turn. The $70 billion online auction company has for years resisted setting free its payments business, most recently digging in its heels against Carl Icahn’s demands to do so. Apple and Alibaba have created more urgency than investors, or Breakingviews, could. EBay squandered a big early advantage, but a spun-off PayPal may have a chance to play catch-up.

Sep 29, 2014 15:48 UTC

SoftBank and Shrek may lack on-screen chemistry

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By Una Galani

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

SoftBank’s acquisition strategy is nothing if not animated, but it’s not always easy to see a clear plot. The Japanese conglomerate’s next move could be a bid for DreamWorks Animation worth $3.4 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter. SoftBank’s giant balance sheet could easily absorb the hit and miss earnings of film production. Yet with each big buy, it becomes less clear how the group’s parts fit together.

Sep 25, 2014 05:38 UTC

Sinopec’s petrol station revamp is an uphill job

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Chinese oil giant Sinopec wants to sell more from its 23,000 pump-side stores. But as a new Breakingviews calculator shows, even a dramatic increase in non-fuel sales won’t do much to lift the $58 billion valuation that outside investors have put on the business.

Sep 24, 2014 06:42 UTC

Starbucks avoids froth in $913 mln Japan buyout

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By Una Galani

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

Starbucks Corp. has served up a grande Japanese buyout without any froth. The U.S. coffee chain is buying the 60.5 percent of its listed local unit that it doesn’t already own for around $913 million – a discount to its market value. Expiring franchise license agreements give Starbucks Corp. a rare chance to take full control of its business in the world’s third-largest economy on the cheap – as long as minority shareholders don’t put up a fight.

Sep 23, 2014 18:02 UTC

Tax clampdown could deter half-baked pharma M&A

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By Neil Unmack and Robert Cyran

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

The U.S. clampdown on tax-driven cross-border M&A should deter half-baked pharma deals. Some U.S.-led transactions, like AbbVie’s recent agreement to buy UK-based Shire, may survive on strategic logic. But pure tax-avoiding combinations look tricky.

Sep 23, 2014 13:55 UTC

Giant fertiliser combo looks tough to cultivate

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By Quentin Webb

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

A possible $27 billion tie-up between two fertiliser giants could prove hard to cultivate. Norway’s Yara International and Chicago-based CF Industries are talking about merging to create by far the world’s biggest ammonia producer. The two companies boast similar valuations and, together, could harvest significant cost savings. But they say they’re contemplating a merger of equals, and that’s not a deal variety that flourishes easily.

Sep 16, 2014 18:39 UTC

Henry Kravis spins a different kind of club deal

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Henry Kravis is spinning a different sort of club deal. The old kind, in which several private equity shops would make an acquisition together, led the buyout baron’s KKR to join the recent hefty settlement of a lawsuit that alleged collusion with other firms. In the new iteration, KKR buys Pioneer’s DJ audio equipment business for $550 million. Kravis is laying down a smooth groove in a funky M&A market.

Sep 15, 2014 13:51 UTC

SAB/Heineken could leap antitrust hurdles

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By Robert Cole

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

A $130 billion Anglo-Dutch beer monster could leap antitrust hurdles. Heineken has rebuffed a takeover approach from SABMiller as “non-actionable.” As you might expect from a combination of the world’s second- and third-biggest brewers, there are major competition concerns. But these could be fixed and the result would be an emerging markets titan. The rejection suggests family control of Heineken is the real sticking point.