Jul 22, 2014 21:52 UTC

Goldman chums return John Thain to semi-importance

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By Antony Currie

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

John Thain is returning to significance with a little help from some former Goldman Sachs colleagues. Thain has been doing penance running lending minnow CIT for the past four years after serving as Merrill Lynch’s last boss. Now he’s spending $3.4 billion to buy OneWest Bank, which is owned by, among others, a gaggle of Goldman alums. The deal manages to bring CIT, and Thain, back into the club of systemically important financial institutions, if just barely.

Jul 22, 2014 15:23 UTC

Listen to Murdoch’s muzzled minorities

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By Rob Cox

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

Time Warner shareholders pondering whether to surrender to Rupert Murdoch would be well advised to listen to the media mogul’s muzzled minorities. Most Twenty-First Century Fox believers are relegated to owning non-voting stock in the entertainment conglomerate, the same second-tier paper on offer as part of the $80 billion takeover bid for the owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. studios. Despite broad investor overlap in the two companies, the record shows a clear distaste for Murdoch’s imperialism.

COMMENT

Why, in all the photos of him that i have seen, is Rupert Murdoch so grumpy?

Posted by pocodot | Report as abusive
Jul 18, 2014 18:27 UTC

Time Warner can justifiably hold out for more

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Time Warner can justifiably hold out for more. Though the $80 billion takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox includes a 20 percent premium, his quarry may well have been on track to achieve that on its own with a bit more time. The Looney Toons-to-HBO group’s Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes has a reasonable degree of negotiating power.

Jul 17, 2014 15:34 UTC

Murdoch may be heading for Pyrrhic Time Warner win

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By Robert Cyran

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

Rupert Murdoch may yet buy Time Warner, but it may be a Pyrrhic victory. The owner of HBO quickly shut off Twenty-First Century Fox’s $80 billion or so offer. Yet Murdoch appears determined to buy his media rival. Problem is, he’d need more than twice the synergies Fox has already identified to make the deal work – and a ton of debt. History suggests the octogenarian won’t give up – and may destroy value by offering more.

COMMENT

With an industry lapdog for a leader, we cannot expect anything useful from the FCC.

Posted by Thomas269 | Report as abusive
Jul 16, 2014 15:54 UTC

Dual-share inequity to figure in Time Warner fight

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By Rob Cox

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

Rupert Murdoch has one last big takeover left in him. Time Warner makes the perfect swan song for the 83-year-old media mogul. The HBO-to-Looney Tunes conglomerate sits at the top of a pyramid where content is king, has no controlling shareholder and poses few insurmountable antitrust hurdles for Twenty-First Century Fox. But winning won’t just be a matter of price.

Jul 16, 2014 13:47 UTC

Portugal Telecom pays the price for weak controls

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By Fiona Maharg-Bravo and Christopher Swann

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

The show will go on. Portugal Telecom and Brazil’s Oi are forging ahead with their planned merger after an Espirito Santo group company failed to repay a $1.1 billion loan to PT. The Portuguese telco is paying the price for its weak controls over its own cash management. Its shareholders will now hold a smaller stake in the group it planned to form with Brazil’s Oi.

Jul 15, 2014 17:14 UTC

Market has message for tobacco M&A trustbusters

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By Kevin Allison

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

American trustbusters deciding whether to approve Reynolds American’s $55 billion deal with Lorillard will want to heed the market’s message. The combined market cap of the No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. cigarette makers has jumped more than $10 billion since merger talk surfaced. Those gains can’t be justified by the cost savings on offer. Expectations of an increase in pricing power, through the creation of an effective tobacco duopoly, may best explain investors’ enthusiasm.

Jul 14, 2014 14:05 UTC

Life’s like a box of chocolates for Lindt owners

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By Quentin Webb

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

For Lindt shareholders, life is like a box of chocolates. They didn’t know they were going to get Russell Stover, the Midwest outfit whose gift box starred in Forrest Gump. They still don’t know what Lindt paid for the third-biggest U.S. candymaker. Or what it will get in terms of profitability.

Jul 11, 2014 14:48 UTC

Imperial prepares $7 bln gamble

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By Chris Hughes

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

Investors think Imperial Tobacco has much to gain from a possible $56 billion merger of U.S. peers Reynolds American and Lorillard. The combination would require a large disposal programme to assuage antitrust regulators, and these forced sales could present bargains for the UK cigarette maker. The snag is that Imperial is short of cash – and the assets available may not be that attractive.

Jul 9, 2014 17:55 UTC

PetSmart activists barking up the right tree

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By Kevin Allison

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

PetSmart’s activist shareholders are barking up the right tree. Jana Partners and Longview Asset Management, which together own about a one-fifth stake, have commanded the U.S. purveyor of dog food and toys to roll over and sell itself. While there are other options to enhance shareholder returns, a deal with Petco, the smaller rival controlled by TPG and Leonard Green, could be the pick of the litter.