Oct 10, 2014 19:18 UTC

Blackstone sale may kick off next deal trend

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

It’s the end of the beginning for Blackstone. The M&A advice business that Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson used as a cornerstone to build their buyout firm three decades ago is being offloaded. Merging it with a fledgling shop run by former Morgan Stanley investment banking chief Paul Taubman potentially heralds the start of something else. The rise in global mergers could spawn a super-boutique or even entice a big bank to buy an indie firm.

Oct 9, 2014 21:45 UTC

Facebook and Google catch glimpse of split future

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By Richard Beales

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

The likes of Facebook, Google and Alibaba keep dabbling in new, new things. The U.S.-based social network’s $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR earlier this year is a prime example. At the same time, old-school technology companies are headed for splitsville. They offer a glimpse into the future for their younger counterparts.

Oct 7, 2014 18:04 UTC

Free spirit (and marketing power) of Lollapalooza doesn’t come cheap

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By Rob Cox

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

Cable cowboy John Malone and Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell rarely come up in the same context. It turns out, however, that there are far fewer than six degrees of separation between the 73-year-old Liberty Media billionaire and the singer of “Been Caught Stealing.”

Oct 7, 2014 16:38 UTC

Glencore Rio takeover would be harder than Xstrata

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By Kevin Allison

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

A Rio Tinto takeover would be harder than Glencore’s 2012 swoop on rival Xstrata. While there’s some logic to a tie-up with the world’s second-biggest iron ore producer, the Swiss miner-trader will be loath to pay a big premium, and the culture clash would be extreme. Rio is also in a better position than Xstrata to resist.

Oct 7, 2014 13:50 UTC

Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore

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By Quentin Webb

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

Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore. On Oct. 7 the miner admitted rebuffing an approach in July from the commodity trading giant. Fair enough. The timing seems expedient following a slump in Rio’s dominant product, iron ore. A $160 billion “merger” also smacks of a takeover on the cheap. Rio can justifiably demand a real premium or no deal.

Sep 30, 2014 20:09 UTC

Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

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By Rob Cox

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

The ski business is amid a flurry – not of snow, but of deals. At the center of the action is Vail Resorts, a $3 billion publicly traded operator in an industry traditionally dominated by family and local owners. The company is upending winter-sports convention in a variety of ways. Chief among them is trying to prove that it can control the weather with some corporate finance.

Sep 29, 2014 15:48 UTC

SoftBank and Shrek may lack on-screen chemistry

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By Una Galani

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

SoftBank’s acquisition strategy is nothing if not animated, but it’s not always easy to see a clear plot. The Japanese conglomerate’s next move could be a bid for DreamWorks Animation worth $3.4 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter. SoftBank’s giant balance sheet could easily absorb the hit and miss earnings of film production. Yet with each big buy, it becomes less clear how the group’s parts fit together.

Sep 25, 2014 05:38 UTC

Sinopec’s petrol station revamp is an uphill job

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Chinese oil giant Sinopec wants to sell more from its 23,000 pump-side stores. But as a new Breakingviews calculator shows, even a dramatic increase in non-fuel sales won’t do much to lift the $58 billion valuation that outside investors have put on the business.

Sep 23, 2014 18:02 UTC

Tax clampdown could deter half-baked pharma M&A

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By Neil Unmack and Robert Cyran

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

The U.S. clampdown on tax-driven cross-border M&A should deter half-baked pharma deals. Some U.S.-led transactions, like AbbVie’s recent agreement to buy UK-based Shire, may survive on strategic logic. But pure tax-avoiding combinations look tricky.

Sep 16, 2014 18:39 UTC

Henry Kravis spins a different kind of club deal

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Henry Kravis is spinning a different sort of club deal. The old kind, in which several private equity shops would make an acquisition together, led the buyout baron’s KKR to join the recent hefty settlement of a lawsuit that alleged collusion with other firms. In the new iteration, KKR buys Pioneer’s DJ audio equipment business for $550 million. Kravis is laying down a smooth groove in a funky M&A market.