Jul 12, 2013 17:30 UTC

Fruity American M&A saga may be about to ripen

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

An epic American M&A saga may be about to come full circle. Nearly 25 years after it was carved up in a landmark deal, much of fruit group Del Monte could be put back together. Along the way, the U.S. food giant has become an enormous part of Wall Street – and even City of London – lore. It’s practically a textbook unto itself for merger lawyers and bankers.

COMMENT

As soon as I saw the word “epic” in your story I quit reading. Please stop the use of this ridiculous word.

Posted by history10 | Report as abusive
May 16, 2013 18:23 UTC

Bernanke deserves art museum spot next to Pollock

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By Richard Beales

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

Ben Bernanke probably deserves a spot somewhere in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. A record $495 million sale at Christie’s on Wednesday evening set new highs for Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other contemporary artists. More collectors than ever have $20 million to spend on a single work. The buoyancy of the market paints a picture of an art world indebted to the Federal Reserve chairman and his alternative asset-friendly monetary policy.

May 13, 2013 22:29 UTC

Could Silver Lake quietly be rooting for Icahn?

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Carl Icahn may have a secret admirer. The uppity billionaire fired his latest salvo in the battle over Dell late last week, proposing a half-baked leveraged recapitalization. The plan could be a ploy to get Silver Lake Partners and founder Michael Dell to sweeten their $24.4 billion bid. It’s hard not to wonder, though, if the buyout firm isn’t quietly rooting for Icahn.

May 3, 2013 17:53 UTC

PepsiCo resistance against activists looks futile

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By Robert Cyran

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

A PepsiCo breakup looks like a matter of time. Investors with a hankering for corporate restructurings have taken stakes in the $128 billion snacks and drinks conglomerate. Splitting the two operations in some way would be straight out of their standard playbook. Though the company has opposed such efforts in the past, the success of Nelson Peltz at Cadbury and his interest in another food biggie, Mondelez, may be hard to resist.

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.

Posted by Psychologist | Report as abusive
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.

Feb 22, 2013 20:55 UTC

Heinz deal suggests Big Food deserves a fresh look

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By Quentin Webb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opini0ns expressed are his own.

After the Warren Buffett-backed takeover of Heinz, Big Food merits a fresh look. Makers of meals, sauces and spreads may offer better value than is immediately obvious.

Dec 24, 2012 17:15 UTC
Guest Contributor

A merger arb writes to Santa

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By Donder und Blitzen

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

After another thin and bumpy year for betting on M&A, one desperate European merger arbitrageur wrote to Santa. Breakingviews obtained a copy:

Dec 21, 2012 19:21 UTC

GE’s $4 bln swoop on Italian supplier is shrewd

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By Quentin Webb

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

General Electric’s swoop on a key supplier should stack up. The U.S. conglomerate is paying a reasonable-looking $4.3 billion for Avio, the Italian aerospace components maker. GE gets savings and more exposure to a civil-aviation market growing at full throttle. The seller, British buyout shop Cinven, gets a satisfactory exit after a bumpy ride.