Apr 16, 2013 02:08 UTC

Weaker yen won’t halt Japan Inc’s overseas spree

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

A weaker yen won’t reverse Japan Inc’s overseas M&A drive. While a strong currency, low interest rates and a stagnant home market fuelled an international shopping spree in 2012, the promise of a domestic revival under new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has caused buyers to temporarily put away their wallets. But even so-called Abenomics can’t cure Japan’s ageing and shrinking population.

Apr 15, 2013 13:37 UTC

CVC takes opportunistic tilt at Betfair

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By Quentin Webb

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

CVC is taking an opportunistic tilt at Betfair. The buyout giant’s admission that it may make a bid for the UK gambling outfit follows Betfair’s terrible run since flotation. But CVC could struggle to persuade investors to fold their hands at this stage.

Apr 9, 2013 22:21 UTC

J.C. Penney exposes inefficiency valuing CEOs

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By Richard Beales

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

The debacle at J.C. Penney exposes a glaring inefficiency in how the market values corporate chieftains. When the struggling U.S. retailer hired Apple whiz Ron Johnson in 2012, the company’s equity value spiked by more than $1 billion. On Monday evening, news of his departure added $350 million. The return of ex-Chief Executive Mike Ullman – the man Johnson replaced – swiftly erased some $700 million. Such big swings make no sense.

COMMENT

A lack of products, focus, and brand image are serious weaknesses for any company. A CEO has to be flexible and willing to use test marketing strategies. Johnson was neither. I would suggest that the European firm Migros look at at Penney as an acquisitions candidate.

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Apr 9, 2013 22:18 UTC

Satellite IPO launches risk tolerance into orbit

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By Quentin Webb

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

Intelsat’s initial public offering could be a telling launch for stock markets. The owners want a full valuation despite the satellite operator’s slow growth and stratospheric debt. If investors are ready to buy, it suggests risk tolerance is heading sky-high.

Apr 4, 2013 15:49 UTC

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap

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By Quentin Webb and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap. An optimistic reading of the underlying valuations suggests M&A could deliver shareholders in the London-listed mobile giant perhaps 35 percent more value than they have now. That’s an extra 31.5 billion pounds ($47.6 billion). But unlocking this would entail huge deals and huge headaches to match.

Apr 3, 2013 14:47 UTC

Tele2′s Russia retreat may spur mobile competition

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By Quentin Webb

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

Tele2 is making a decent Russian exit, all considered. The Swedish telecom is selling its unit there for $3.55 billion to state-backed VTB. Attempts to gatecrash the Kremlin-blessed deal look forlorn. And life may get harder for Tele2’s bigger rivals.

Mar 28, 2013 19:27 UTC

How to go public and private all in one go

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

A Brazilian company seems to have found a way to go public and private all in one go. Biosev, an ethanol producer, is preparing to sell new shares next month. As part of the deal, parent company Louis Dreyfus is offering to buy them back in 15 months. It’s essentially an initial public offering, convertible bond and potential buyout packaged together. And it’s an overly clever solution to a unique problem.

COMMENT

This offering will be very appealing to investors who are looking to preserve principal but would also like a shot at the upside.

Terry Stidham
President
Target Search Group

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Mar 26, 2013 14:22 UTC

Target shortage feeds desperate Mideast telco M&A

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By Una Galani

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

A scarcity of takeover targets is feeding a desperate scramble in Middle East telecoms M&A. Bahrain’s incumbent operator Batelco is eyeing a stake in the enterprise unit of India’s Reliance Communications. It comes just months after agreeing a deal worth $1 billion to buy assets spanning 12 markets, including Monaco and the Channel Islands, from Cable & Wireless. Batelco’s pick-and-mix takeovers are symptomatic of a market where too many big telcos are chasing too few assets.

Mar 21, 2013 09:17 UTC

Mining saga highlights pitfalls of Chinese M&A

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Sundance Resources is a case study in what ails Chinese-led takeovers. The Australian miner’s deal to sell itself to Hanlong Mining for $1.4 billion is under pressure after its suitor’s chairman was apparently arrested. The 18-month saga highlights the hurdles facing Chinese bidders, and explains why suitors are often met with scepticism.

Mar 20, 2013 21:29 UTC

Optimism over M&A may be deserved – at a discount

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

 

M&A bankers and lawyers telling a PR firm that specializes in deals they expect to see more merger activity makes for sweet echo-chamber music. The survey released by Brunswick Group to coincide with an annual U.S. dealmaker powwow found three out of four practitioners expecting more M&A globally this year than last. They’re more bullish than ever about North America, with 97 percent anticipating growth in the region. A discount needs to be applied to all the optimism.