Dec 18, 2014 20:47 UTC

Dry powder may explode in buyout barons’ faces

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

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In the private equity world, almost everything is going up. That’s just not as good as it sounds for buyout barons.

Dec 17, 2014 21:42 UTC

M&A “clear day” defenses can cloud investor rights

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Corporate defenses can hurt investors, rain or shine. Anti-takeover measures adopted on so-called “clear days” – before threats arise – are more likely to weather legal scrutiny. It’s one reason Allergan was able to beat back Valeant’s unwanted $52 billion advance. When such protections are triggered in the heat of battle, though, they’re considered unfair surprises. Either way, shareholders usually get unneeded cover.

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 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 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.

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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.

Nov 27, 2014 14:22 UTC

SABMiller’s Coca-Cola push is Africa buy signal

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By Robert Cole

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

If there was any doubt about SABMiller’s interest in soft drinks, the brewer’s tie-up with Coca-Cola in Africa should squash them for good. SAB, Coca-Cola and privately held Gutsche Family Investments have agreed to merge bottling assets in southern and eastern Africa into a soft-drinks group with $2.9 billion of annual sales. It is a deal that ticks all the boxes for SAB.

Nov 24, 2014 19:37 UTC

BT is in strong position for mobile M&A

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By Quentin Webb

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

BT is in a strong position for mobile M&A. It has shaken up UK communications by moving into television and by preparing to launch a novel mobile service of its own. Now the fixed-line giant finds itself with a choice of two wireless networks to buy, Telefonica’s O2 unit or Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s EE. There are few likely counter-bidders for either potential target.