Mar 25, 2015 21:07 UTC

Kraft investors bet Heinz can refill secret sauce

Photo

Variety of Heinz products are seen at convenience store in Golden

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

H.J. Heinz’s operating margins rocketed from 18 percent to 26 percent after 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway took the ketchup maker private two years ago. In welcoming a merger that creates a company worth perhaps $80 billion, Kraft Foods investors are betting on more of the same.

Mar 3, 2015 15:51 UTC

Rob Cox: Silicon Valley’s boom-boom room moment

Photo

By Rob Cox

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

The entrée hadn’t even arrived when the youngest person present at a dinner in San Francisco a few years ago got up abruptly to go see a startup he wanted to fund. That was a bit odd. So was his nervous tic.

Feb 17, 2015 19:34 UTC

Fresh flames rise from Sealy’s ever-burning bed

Photo

By Stephanie Rogan

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

The burning bed is flaring up again. Uppity hedge fund H Partners, alleging a dormant stock price at Tempur Sealy and private equity directors asleep on the job, wants the boss sacked and a seat on the board. A torturous financial history suggests it’s probably time to light a fire under the company and the industry again.

Jan 8, 2015 15:44 UTC

Dick’s buyout has financially sporting chance

Photo

By Kevin Allison

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

Dick’s Sporting Goods may become the next private equity plaything. The $6 billion basketball-to-fishing vendor is mulling a leveraged buyout, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday. A relatively clean balance sheet means there’s an opportunity to make money. It would, however, require healthy growth assumptions for $6.1 billion Dick’s at a time when stiff online competition is challenging many retailers.

Dec 22, 2014 22:08 UTC

Acquirers can expect more M&A investor skeptics

Photo

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 18, 2014 20:47 UTC

Dry powder may explode in buyout barons’ faces

Photo

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

apollo.jpg

In the private equity world, almost everything is going up. That’s just not as good as it sounds for buyout barons.

Nov 25, 2014 12:33 UTC

Private equity shows signs of pre-crisis brio

Photo

By Chris Hughes and Olaf Storbeck

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

Private equity’s hunt of large European targets has landed a rare catch. The 3.75 billion euro ($4.7 billion) leveraged buyout of Switzerland’s SIG Combibloc has demonstrated that financial sponsors can still stretch to get a sizeable transaction agreed.

Nov 5, 2014 19:13 UTC

Carlyle buys a shovel-maker for deal gold rush

Photo

By Quentin Webb

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

In a gold rush, it pays to sell the shovels. Carlyle, the U.S.-based private equity firm, is teaming up with British publisher Euromoney to test the adage for the modern era. With stock sales, debt issuance and M&A booming, they’re acquiring Dealogic, a seller of financial data, for $700 million.

Oct 20, 2014 13:07 UTC

Spreadsheet bungles alive and well in high finance

Photo

By Richard Beales

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

There’s no rule about Excel’s infallibility. Yet obvious spreadsheet errors still occur, even in the citadels of high finance. No less a practitioner than Goldman Sachs double-counted some of Tibco’s shares in calculating the business software company’s value in a sale worth $4.3 billion – oops, make that $4.2 billion. Both the firm and its client must have been distracted.

Oct 10, 2014 19:18 UTC

Blackstone sale may kick off next deal trend

Photo

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.