Dec 30, 2014 11:28 UTC

Tesco will have to fight for its independence

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By Robert Cole

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

Tesco will have to fight for its independence in 2015. The UK grocer’s equity value fell from 33 billion pounds ($51 billion) three years ago to 15 billion pounds in mid-December. The group will start the year by unveiling a new strategy and, probably, a new chairman. Neither provides solid protection against a bid.

Dec 29, 2014 11:07 UTC

M&A spin doctors could get swept up in the action

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By Quentin Webb

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

M&A spin doctors may get swept up in the action. If anyone knows how to assess the climate for takeovers, it should be financial public relations advisers.

Dec 22, 2014 22:08 UTC

Acquirers can expect more M&A investor skeptics

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By Rob Cox

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

Success begets imitation, especially in Wall Street’s M&A factories. More than $3.2 trillion of deals were proposed around the world in 2014. More will be encouraged by the uproarious response given by investors to shares of acquiring companies. As the easy pickings evaporate, though, the laws of corporate finance will prevail. Buyers can expect greater skepticism.

Dec 22, 2014 22:01 UTC

More than Slim odds America Movil buys T-Mobile

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By Robert Cyran

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

Carlos Slim may try to buy the $21 billion T-Mobile US in the coming year. The Mexican billionaire needs to reduce his telephone company’s dependence on its home country. The fourth-largest U.S. wireless operator is cheap, its parent doesn’t want it, and there’s strategic logic to a deal. Increasingly frightful competition in U.S. telecoms may be a sticking point.

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 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.