Breakingviews

Blackstone sale may kick off next deal trend

October 10, 2014

Spinning off its advisory arm marks an end to the buyout firm’s beginning. Merging it with ex-Morgan Stanley banker Paul Taubman’s shop potentially heralds the start of something else. The rise in global M&A could spawn a super-boutique or entice a big bank to buy an indie firm.

European IPO wobble is about more than volatility

October 9, 2014

New issues in France and Italy have been pulled. As ever, companies blame choppy markets. That’s partly true. But misfiring debuts from Rocket and Zalando hurt badly. Europe’s economy is faltering. And a busy year has made investors both less flush and more discriminating.

Tianhe investors sell first, ask questions later

October 9, 2014

Shares in the Chinese chemical group plunged as much as 45 percent when they resumed trading after anonymous fraud allegations. Despite the company’s rebuttal, some mud has stuck. Existing shareholders may have to reach into their pockets to restore confidence.

Traders need help to make Wall Street shine

October 8, 2014

Markets are more volatile, but not enough to ensure decent Q3 profitability for Goldman, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. That’d take up to $12 bln of extra revenue trading bonds, FX and commodities among them. Expect additional cost cuts. And other businesses will have to step up.

Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore

October 7, 2014

The miner’s shares leapt after it admitted rebuffing the commodity trading giant. Yet the timing is opportunistic, as iron ore slumps, and a $160 bln merger looks suspiciously like a takeover on the cheap. So Rio’s board can justifiably demand a big premium, or no deal.

Jumbo $6 bln bank IPO shows Saudi too big to miss

October 7, 2014

The sale of shares in the kingdom’s top bank will be the largest this year after Alibaba. A few foreign investors may share some of the upside. For most, it’s a reminder of the opportunities on offer when the $584 bln market opens more fully to outsiders next year.

Meg Whitman at last splits Hewlett from Packard

October 6, 2014

The venerable tech conglomerate will cleave in two: a computer and printer business and a corporate hardware and services arm. Investors had baked in a breakup for ages, so there was only so much longer CEO Whitman could dawdle before losing control of HP’s narrative.

Sears’ Canada stake sale merits a discount

October 3, 2014

Hedge fund boss Eddie Lampert’s struggling retailer wants to raise cash ahead of the holidays by selling a stake in its Canadian arm via a slimly discounted rights issue. If all goes to plan, Sears hopes to conjure up $380 mln. The market’s reaction suggests that’s optimistic.

Coke challenge goes beyond revising pay plan

October 3, 2014

The beverage giant has backed off its controversial executive compensation scheme. That’s a win for Warren Buffett, investor David Winters and the company’s other shareholders. But the quibbles with Coke don’t end with excessive pay. Costs loom as the next activist target.

Rocket and Zalando call top of Europe’s IPO market

October 3, 2014

Despite being heavily subscribed, the tech incubator and the online retailer performed badly after listing, together wiping out 1.5 bln euros. The stock market has been the easiest exit route for European asset sales this year. Hereon, vendors won’t be able to name their price.