Breakingviews

AMC-Odeon deal is both trailer and closing credits

July 12, 2016

The U.S. cinema chain is buying its European peer for $1.2 bln. The deal ends Odeon's epic stint in private equity hands. It's a further sign of the global ambitions of Wanda, AMC's Chinese backer. And it could be the first of many post-Brexit deals by dollar-based buyers.

Alibaba highlights hurdles in Russia’s pivot east

July 12, 2016

Moscow wants closer economic ties with China, rather than dealing with an unfriendly West. But Russia's poor business climate makes life hard for Chinese companies, although they are used to draconian rules at home. Even e-commerce giant Alibaba has only made modest inroads.

Pokemon GO hints mixed reality beats virtual kind

July 11, 2016

The mobile game where users capture imaginary creatures in the real world is a smash. Within a week of launch GO may have more users than Twitter. Entirely computer-simulated worlds get the attention, but overlaying the digital on the physical may be the disruptive killer app.

Tech deal reboot exemplifies valuation disconnect

July 11, 2016

Videoconference gear maker Polycom scrapped a plan to be bought by Mitel and opted for a $2 bln LBO instead. Hefty synergies in the original merger orchestrated by Elliott oddly failed to impress investors. It's not just the newest technology where valuation thinking is screwy.

Workers on boards only small step in UK governance

July 11, 2016

Theresa May, perhaps Britain's next prime minister, wants employees among company directors. Germany's 40-year-old union-heavy "Mitbestimmung" model - which goes further than the UK would - hasn't been the disaster predicted by industry, but it also has its downsides.

from Viewsroom:

Viewsroom: The Kit Kat defense; Brexit fallout

July 8, 2016

The humble four-fingered chocolate bar could play a key role in fending off bidders for Hershey. Meanwhile, the EU-shunning UK battles political instability, a tanking currency and a run on commercial property funds, while the economic pain of allowing in far fewer migrants looms.

British retail sleepwalks into Amazon-ageddon

July 8, 2016

Real-world stores are burdened with poor demand, too much property and thinning profit. The U.S. tech giant, meanwhile, is hiring 1,000 UK staff and pushing into fashion and groceries. The UK's economic problems could be a decisive moment in the online land grab.

Temasek’s goals are bold for a low-yield world

July 8, 2016

The $180 bln Singaporean investor just suffered its first down year since the financial crisis. Still, it beat benchmarks, and some key holdings have since rebounded. However, Temasek is still targeting a feisty 8 pct annual return. That could skew future investment decisions.

U.S. anti-inversion push has a harmful flipside

July 7, 2016

Treasury's plan to rein in tax-motivated overseas M&A takes aim at intercompany loans. It's a good idea to curb so-called earnings stripping where deductible interest is sent to an overseas parent. The proposed rule is broad, however, and could hurt normal funding practices.

Danone investors get creamed by WhiteWave deal

July 7, 2016

The French group is paying a too-full $12.5 bln for U.S. dairy group WhiteWave. Danone can get away with this because expanding away from Europe looks attractive, and debt comes cheap. Skim off the froth, and it’s an expensive way of buying growth.