Jan 26, 2015 19:12 UTC

U.S. $16 bln paper deal requires precise folding

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By Kevin Allison

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

Delivering on the promise of a $16 billion U.S. paper merger may require some precision folding. Stockholders in packaging giants Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco will share their combined company evenly, with a roughly balanced board. Investors are already inking in $300 million of promised annual savings, pushing up the stocks of both companies. But mergers that look equal can still provoke business and cultural upheaval.

Jan 23, 2015 19:22 UTC

More Wall Street CEO cash is hint for shareholders

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By Antony Currie

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

Shareholders might want to take a hint from this week’s news on compensation for Wall Street chief executives. JPMorgan is paying a portion of Jamie Dimon’s bonus in cash for the first time since 2011. And Goldman Sachs is boosting how much hard money Lloyd Blankfein gets. Meanwhile, bank stock gains are slowing.

Jan 22, 2015 22:29 UTC

RBC’s foray south a pricey bet that two’s a charm

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By Daniel Indiviglio

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

Royal Bank of Canada is placing a pricey bet that the second time’s a charm for a foray south of the border. The Canadian titan is forking over $5.4 billion for Beverly Hills-based City National little more than three years after it cut a painful retreat from U.S. retail banking. This time around, RBC boss David McKay, who took the reins last August, has targeted a growing franchise in a coveted part of the market. But he’s also paying through the nose for it.

Jan 14, 2015 18:07 UTC

Rob Cox: It took the Grim Reaper to restructure GM

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By Rob Cox

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

As General Motors was emerging from bankruptcy a few years ago, then-Chief Executive Dan Akerson, a veteran of the private equity industry, vowed cultural change was working. “There’s accountability in this organization now,” the former Navy man confidently told the Detroit Free Press. He was a few years premature in his diagnosis.

Jan 12, 2015 22:11 UTC

Tech steering carmakers down valuation dead end

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By Antony Currie and Olaf Storbeck

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

Carmakers are on something of a roll as they convene in Detroit. In the years to come, however, technology could make the ride rougher.

Jan 12, 2015 16:53 UTC

Cheap oil lubricates Li Ka-shing’s corporate rejig

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By Una Galani

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

Cheap oil could be vital to Li Ka-shing keeping control of his empire. Asia’s richest man is selling a 6 percent stake in Husky Energy to his holding company as part of a broader shake-up. The move is vital to maintaining Li’s grip on his telecom, retail and property businesses. The recent fall in the oil price makes it harder for shareholders to object.

Jan 9, 2015 20:51 UTC

Proxy fight as much about Peltz’s Trian as DuPont

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By Kevin Allison

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

Nelson Peltz’s latest proxy fight will resonate beyond its immediate target, DuPont. The billionaire activist’s Trian Partners is seeking four director seats at the venerable chemicals group, its first public battle since squeezing onto Heinz’s board nine years ago. Flexing muscle sends a message to other stubborn targets, like PepsiCo. It also gives Peltz’s potential successors experience in the trenches.

Jan 8, 2015 19:34 UTC

Santander finally gets the message on capital

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By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

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

Ana Botin is grabbing the bull by the horns. The new chair of Santander is seeking 7.5 billion euros of fresh equity in a speedy share sale and slashing the dividend. The Spanish bank has long resisted raising capital or touching its outsized payout. The moves may be overdue and including pre-emption rights would have been fairer on shareholders. But Santander is getting capital now without the challenge of a drawn-out rights issue during a critical Greek election.

COMMENT

Isn’t this about big losses Santander has incurred in Latin America? They have billions of reais, pesos etc of losses in these economies and have to urgently strengthen their balance sheet. The Spanish economy is also very weak. They say that they want to use the money to “pursue ambitious growth plans” – where?

They may be using the fact that attention is diverted by Charlie Hebdo attacks to get this away without much comment?

Posted by JCharles | Report as abusive
Jan 8, 2015 15:50 UTC

StanChart equities closure is overdue but welcome

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

For most investment banks, underwriting and broking equities is a poor business. Revenue rarely exceeds the costs of providing the service. Yet most institutions insist the business is essential. Standard Chartered just became a rare but welcome exception.

Jan 8, 2015 15:44 UTC

Dick’s buyout has financially sporting chance

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By Kevin Allison

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

Dick’s Sporting Goods may become the next private equity plaything. The $6 billion basketball-to-fishing vendor is mulling a leveraged buyout, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday. A relatively clean balance sheet means there’s an opportunity to make money. It would, however, require healthy growth assumptions for $6.1 billion Dick’s at a time when stiff online competition is challenging many retailers.