Jan 2, 2013 20:48 UTC

Avis gives Zipcar a faster lane to profitability

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

Avis Budget is giving Zipcar a faster lane to profitability. Selling to the mainstream car rental giant for $500 million means a 32 percent loss for those who bought shares in Zipcar’s 2011 initial public offering. But it will allow the car-sharing company to boost its margins by tapping into Avis’s underused fleet.

Dec 24, 2012 17:15 UTC
Guest Contributor

A merger arb writes to Santa

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By Donder und Blitzen

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

After another thin and bumpy year for betting on M&A, one desperate European merger arbitrageur wrote to Santa. Breakingviews obtained a copy:

Dec 21, 2012 19:21 UTC

GE’s $4 bln swoop on Italian supplier is shrewd

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By Quentin Webb

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

General Electric’s swoop on a key supplier should stack up. The U.S. conglomerate is paying a reasonable-looking $4.3 billion for Avio, the Italian aerospace components maker. GE gets savings and more exposure to a civil-aviation market growing at full throttle. The seller, British buyout shop Cinven, gets a satisfactory exit after a bumpy ride.

Dec 19, 2012 22:15 UTC

Sulzbergers will make headlines in New York Times

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By Agnes T. Crane

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

Expect the Ochs-Sulzbergers to make headlines in their own New York Times in 2013. The family that controls the U.S. paper of record has loyally seen it through some dark days. With the Gray Lady now on sturdier financial ground, they have a better chance to find a safe custodian at a decent price – maybe someone like billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The window of opportunity could close quickly.

Dec 18, 2012 18:23 UTC

Market signals turning point in U.S. gun debate

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By Robert Cyran

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

Private equity isn’t known for squeamishness – or for dumping promising investments. So it’s significant that Cerberus Capital Management is selling its stake in Freedom Group, the largest U.S. firearms maker, following the Newtown school atrocity last week. Gunmakers’ shares are plunging, too: big money is betting on tougher restrictions.

Dec 14, 2012 05:52 UTC

India’s Jet a better bet than Kingfisher for Etihad

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By Andy Mukherjee and Una Galani

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

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is spoilt for choice in India: It could decide to be a white knight to billionaire Vijay Mallya’s beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines. Or the Gulf carrier could snap up a smaller stake in Jet Airways, which controls a quarter of the domestic Indian market. The latter looks the better bet.

Dec 13, 2012 09:35 UTC

Qatar gives SocGen an honourable exit from Egypt

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By Una Galani

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

Qatar has given Societe Generale an honorable exit from Egypt. State-backed Qatar National Bank will buy the French bank’s 77 percent stake in its Egyptian unit, National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), through a mandatory tender offer valuing the whole at $2.6 billion. The valuation of 2 times book value is lower than pre-revolution multiples, and SocGen will have to carry some currency risk. But with few-sizeable buyers willing to live with Arab spring volatility, it makes sense for SocGen to shrink while it can.

Dec 12, 2012 13:07 UTC

Diageo’s M&A machine misfires with Jose Cuervo

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By Quentin Webb

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

The sun is setting on Diageo’s ambitions to be a big shot in tequila. A generous reading is that Diageo remains disciplined about deals. But letting Jose Cuervo go is a meaningful setback in the group’s largest market.

Dec 7, 2012 20:13 UTC

Freeport deal triangle gets cozier and cozier

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By Christopher Swann

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

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s foray into energy keeps getting cozier for the top executives involved. The U.S. mining group’s market value has plunged $6 billion following news of its planned purchase of Plains Exploration & Production and McMoRan Exploration. Yet Jim Bob Moffett, Freeport’s chairman, and James Flores, chief executive of Plains, will come out ahead.

Dec 7, 2012 13:33 UTC

Banking union will revive pan-EU bank M&A

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By George Hay

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

Europe’s banking union could reignite cross-border bank mergers. Spooked by financial and euro zone crises, national regulators have pressed their charges to retrench to domestic markets. But the arrival of a single supervisor and central bailout fund could revive the M&A frenzy seen earlier in the decade.