Feb 14, 2014 04:53 UTC

From soccer pitch, lessons on Chinese tycoon risks

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By Una Galani

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

Chinese investors are setting their sights on trophy assets in the West, and soccer teams look like fair game. The case of English football club Birmingham City, whose main shareholder and former president just sold a stake to an obscure Chinese company, offers a cautionary tale. Big personalities make risky shareholders, but China brings extra anxieties.

Feb 13, 2014 20:17 UTC

Comcast deal machine spits out a value destroyer

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

 

Comcast’s deal machine has spit out a value destroyer. Digesting Time Warner Cable is ambitious even for a serial acquirer like Chief Executive Brian Roberts. As with some of his many previous purchases, it looks set to generate a return on investment below Comcast’s cost of capital. That’s crummy but not criminal. It’s also not surprising given the medieval governance the Roberts family uses to oversee its fiefdom.

COMMENT

So Comcast isn’t a monopoly, Time-Warner isn’t a monopoly and the resulting behemoth wouldn’t be a monopoly either.

Thank you US anti-trust “guidelines”, always looking out for the consumer.

Posted by thebriang | Report as abusive
Feb 13, 2014 15:16 UTC

Commerzbank could yet boost BNP’s bland strategy

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By Dominic Elliott

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

Commerzbank could yet jazz up BNP Paribas’ bland strategy. France’s biggest bank by assets unveiled underwhelming targets on Feb. 13: a 10 percent return on equity by 2016, a scarcely bigger dividend payout and another 800 million euros of cost cuts. A 4.5 percent drop in BNP’s share price suggests investors want something meatier.

Feb 13, 2014 15:07 UTC

Comcast gives deal junkies lots to watch on cable

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

Comcast just gave merger junkies plenty to watch on cable. The biggest U.S. operator has agreed to buy rival Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in stock, interrupting a hostile takeover attempt by smaller Charter Communications. The target got the price it wanted, but not the terms. Regulatory risks are high. And all eyes will still be on the crafty John Malone.

Feb 12, 2014 19:03 UTC

Cross-border arbitrage is expansive Bimbo’s yeast

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

Cross-border arbitrage is the yeast for Grupo Bimbo’s aggressive expansion. In its latest deal north of the border, the acquisitive Mexican breadmaker is shelling out $1.8 billion to buy Canada Bread. Paying 20 times earnings to move into a mature market may seem questionable. But Bimbo’s earnings fetch an even higher multiple at home – and the deal should lower its weighted average cost of capital.

Feb 12, 2014 12:17 UTC

Markets may flare again without Fed and ECB hoses

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By Ian Campbell

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

After a January in which emerging-economy fires blew smoke into investors’ eyes, markets are calm again. Somewhat dovish noises from Janet Yellen, the new chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, have, at first, reassured. But there are good reasons to worry.

Feb 11, 2014 15:24 UTC

Nestle selldown leaves L’Oreal more a family group

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By Pierre Briançon 

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

Nestle’s sale of an 8 percent stake in L’Oreal to the French cosmetics group marks a fundamental reset of the duo’s relations. The French get more freedom; the Swiss, cash and some assets. Nestle may describe its reduced holding as “strategic”, yet looks, long term, like a seller of more. But keeping a 23 percent investment gives it the option to reverse course if it wishes.

Feb 10, 2014 22:00 UTC

Time Warner Cable’s deal control looks more remote

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

Tom Rutledge seems like a man on a mission. The U.S. cable operator he runs, Charter Communications, is preparing a slate of replacement directors for larger rival Time Warner Cable, the target of his $60 billion hostile bid. He may also have roped in Comcast to alleviate financial worries about the plan to take over his former employer.

Feb 7, 2014 19:22 UTC

Coke and David Einhorn sing in perfect disharmony

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

Betraying its renowned jingle, Coca-Cola is singing in perfect disharmony with David Einhorn. To feel good dropping $1.3 billion for a minority stake in Green Mountain Coffee, the beverage giant must have answered some nagging questions posed by the hedge fund manager a few years ago. Investors seem to reckon Coke did its due diligence. Procter & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard have shown just how much it can matter.

Feb 6, 2014 17:03 UTC

Standalone Vodafone starts to look healthier

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

The standalone Vodafone is starting to look healthier. The mobile telecom operator will become dramatically smaller after it quits the United States and returns $84 billion to its shareholders. Elsewhere, its sales have been falling faster and faster. Now it looks like the worst is past and Vodafone hopes to ride a boom in mobile data. Yet for investors, the top question is what part the group will play in future M&A.