Dec 19, 2014 17:36 UTC

Review: An Icelandic tycoon’s sorry saga

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By Quentin Webb

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

Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson embodies Iceland’s volcanic rise and fall. He made a fortune in Eastern Europe, lost a bank in 2008 and caused Deutsche Bank years of grief. His memoir, “Billions to Bust – and Back Again,” is self-critical – but unlikely to win him new friends in Reykjavik.

Dec 17, 2014 20:19 UTC

Sony email shareholders would like to see

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By Rob Cox

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

The hacking scandal at Sony’s Hollywood studio isn’t just embarrassing. It’s a business problem for the $23 billion Japanese conglomerate already struggling to turn itself around. Herewith, a selection of internal messages Sony’s board and executives ought to be fielding this week.

Dec 16, 2014 17:10 UTC

European telecoms will dial up more deals

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By Quentin Webb

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

European telecoms will dial up more deals in 2015. With M&A sweeping the sector, BT’s mobile ambitions mean Britain is up next, and tie-ups could follow elsewhere.

Dec 12, 2014 19:56 UTC

Binding Staples to Office Depot only easy on paper

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By Quentin Webb

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

A potential $13 billion merger of Staples and Office Depot looks great – on paper, at least. Activist investor Starboard has taken big stakes in each of America’s two remaining large office supply chains and, according to CNBC, wants to bind the two together.

Dec 11, 2014 22:03 UTC

More Porsche than Prada: Why Ferrari’s worth $7bln

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

Ferrari is more Porsche than Prada. Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne aims to spin-off the Italian sports carmaker in 2015, and wants it to be valued like a luxury goods company, with an enterprise value of up to 10 billion euros ($12.4 billion). Fast cars, however, are harder to craft than handbags or high heels. A more reasonable price tag would not be much more than half that.

COMMENT

Love my 512M – still cant figure Tesla valuations – zero GAAP profit in 10 years
Please fix FI 2015

Posted by jackdanielsesq | Report as abusive
Dec 9, 2014 20:36 UTC

Merck gives in to M&A frenzy risk assessment

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By Robert Cyran 

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

The M&A frenzy appears to have influenced Merck’s risk assessment. Just hours after unveiling its $8.4 billion acquisition of Cubist Pharmaceuticals on Monday, a judge invalidated patents owned by the antibiotics maker. Potential lost sales are reflected in the billions erased from Merck’s market value.

Dec 8, 2014 20:40 UTC

Merck bets $8.4 bln on more profitable antibiotics

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By Robert Cyran

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

Superbugs may have beneficial side effects – for giant pharmaceutical companies. In agreeing to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Merck is betting $8.4 billion that the antibiotics used to fight them will become more profitable.

Dec 5, 2014 19:19 UTC

Uber flips the bird at critics with convertible

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By Robert Cyran

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

Uber is really flipping the bird at critics with its latest financial deal. The taxi app’s valuation soared to $40 billion in its latest funding round. But a plan to issue securities that convert to stock at a discount to its eventual IPO price shows how firmly Chief Executive Travis Kalanick remains in the driver’s seat. Uber can raise money at a potentially massive premium.

Dec 3, 2014 11:53 UTC

Sinking rouble puts debt squeeze on Russia Inc

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Russia does not have an external debt problem. At around 37 percent of GDP – versus 1.5 to three times GDP, say, for developed European economies – it should be easily manageable. For Russian companies and banks, it’s a different story.

COMMENT

Once the economy starts contracting, and prices of food start rising- support for Mr. Putin will slowly fade.

Posted by USSB | Report as abusive
Dec 1, 2014 19:43 UTC

If Vodafone wants Liberty it has to get creative

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By Quentin Webb

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

Deals beget deals, as the cliche has it, but still: BT eyes a $15 billion takeover in UK mobile and Vodafone’s measured reaction is to plot a bid for European’s largest cable group, Liberty Global, worth $90 billion? That’s a strategically ambitious way for Vodafone to counter a new threat to its domestic wireless business. The financial logic is harder to see.