Sep 15, 2014 13:51 UTC

SAB/Heineken could leap antitrust hurdles

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By Robert Cole

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

A $130 billion Anglo-Dutch beer monster could leap antitrust hurdles. Heineken has rebuffed a takeover approach from SABMiller as “non-actionable.” As you might expect from a combination of the world’s second- and third-biggest brewers, there are major competition concerns. But these could be fixed and the result would be an emerging markets titan. The rejection suggests family control of Heineken is the real sticking point.

Sep 12, 2014 18:51 UTC

Club Med auction returns to work refreshed

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By Quentin Webb

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

Club Mediterranee shareholders have been vindicated for refusing to throw in the towel. Last year, litigious investors held up a low-ball management buyout offer for the faded French holiday group. They were eventually rewarded with a counterbid from Italian financier Andrea Bonomi. Now the MBO team, again working with China’s Fosun, are back, trumping Bonomi with a $1.1 billion proposal.

Sep 10, 2014 06:50 UTC

Rakuten’s $1bln U.S. buy stretches loyalty logic

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By Una Galani

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

Rakuten’s latest acquisition stretches loyalty logic. Buying U.S. cash back site Ebates for $1 billion will help Japan’s largest e-commerce group beef up abroad. It also underscores Rakuten’s determination to use loyalty schemes to distinguish itself from rivals like eBay and China’s Alibaba. Yet, as with Rakuten’s other recent chunky deals, it’s unclear how all the parts fit together.

Sep 9, 2014 19:20 UTC

General Mills may smother pricey organic target

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By Kevin Allison

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

General Mills risks smothering its latest acquisition target. The $32 billion Cheerios maker has agreed to pay $46 per share, a 37 percent premium, for Annie’s, a California-based “natural” mac-n-cheese and organic snacks company. The $820 million deal is small relative to General Mills’ overall business, but there’s a risk of indigestion.

Sep 8, 2014 07:14 UTC

Aussie privatisation push makes for buyer’s market

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By Una Galani

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

Australia’s privatisation push is creating a buyer’s market. State governments are being encouraged to divest their infrastructure holdings. The assets on the block, which include everything from ports to electricity networks, could be worth A$100 billion ($93 billion), according to Infrastructure Australia. That’s equal to almost three-quarters of the total value of mergers and acquisitions involving an Australian target over the past two years. A lack of coordination between states could leave laggards with lousy valuations.

Aug 28, 2014 19:16 UTC

Vivendi boosts shareholder credentials in GVT sale

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By Fiona Maharg-Bravo and Neil Unmack

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

Vincent Bolloré, Vivendi’s chairman, is doing right by his shareholders. The French media group says it has entered exclusive talks with Telefonica on the Spanish group’s 7.5 billion euro bid for its Brazilian business GVT. The French conglomerate spurned a lower bid from Telecom Italia. It might have squeezed a bit more from Telefonica, but has chosen the surest exit. That leaves rival bidder TI facing an uncertain future.

Aug 27, 2014 07:27 UTC

Aggressive M&A puts focus on Thai tycoon’s empire

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By Una Galani

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

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s appetite for deals has put his sprawling empire in focus. The Thai drinks-to-property tycoon is eyeing more acquisitions on top of the $3.3 billion his companies have spent this year. Investors have already given a poor reception to his most recent deals. A pick’n’mix approach to public markets may explain some of their doubts.

Aug 26, 2014 20:19 UTC

Buffett and tax outrage both diversions in BK deal

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By Robert Cyran

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

Warren Buffett’s name is giving Burger King’s deal to buy Tim Hortons, now worth some $11 billion, a public relations boost. But some commentators on Twitter are calling the Berkshire Hathaway boss a hypocrite and branding him unpatriotic for supporting a company moving from the United States tax jurisdiction to Canada. Both sentiments are diversions.

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Aug 26, 2014 19:09 UTC

Burger King tax flip merger logic doesn’t stack up

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By Kevin Allison

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

It will take more than a crossing of the Canadian border to justify investor ebullience for a potential Burger King-Tim Hortons combination.

Aug 26, 2014 18:15 UTC

Why can Burger King, but not Wendy’s, own Hortons?

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By Rob Cox

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

Why can Burger King, but not Wendy’s, own Tim Hortons? Burger King used to argue that it was exceptional for the flame-broiling of its burgers. With its $11 billion purchase of the Canadian doughnut-chain, its shareholders seem to believe it is special in some other ways.