Breakingviews

Lyft mulls trip out of capital destruction

June 28, 2016

The $5.5 bln ride-hailing app has hired Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst – an adviser with a knack for selling tech firms at hefty premiums. With rivals Uber and Didi raising and burning billions in an attempt to gain control of markets, M&A discretion may prove wiser than valor.

Hong Kong could be a black belt in green bonds

June 14, 2016

China is pushing environmental finance, but rules and definitions are fuzzy. Hong Kong’s large pool of capital and transparent regulation give it the credentials to whip this immature market into shape. With just one green bond under its belt, however, the city has work to do.

Uber’s deal with U.S. drivers looks cheap

May 10, 2016

Treated as employees rather than contractors, the ride-hailing service might have had to pay them as much as $730 mln more, according to court papers. That makes a $100 mln two-state settlement look like peanuts – another reason why the judge on the case might reject it.

Tesla’s acceleration may get investors shaking

May 5, 2016

The electric-auto maker expects to produce 500,000 vehicles two years earlier than planned amid strong demand for its new Model 3 sedan. Such ambition is typical for boss Elon Musk. The cash and technical capabilities involved, however, increase risk with the potential rewards.

Uber driver deal just a detour from legal showdown

April 22, 2016

A $100 mln settlement resolves claims in two U.S. states that the $60 bln ride-hailing service should treat workers as employees, not cheaper contractors. Like paying driver fines for illegal pickups, though, the pact only buys time for Uber. Eventually, there’ll be a collision.

GM’s $500 mln Lyft stake hedges against tech’s rise

January 4, 2016

The bet gets the U.S. carmaker a way into the growing ride-hailing industry and another partner for developing autonomous vehicles. The deal taps into potential changes in car ownership and usage, and even employment – all threats to the traditional business of building vehicles.

Volkswagen top brass will be up for the chop

December 31, 2015

The German carmaker’s chairman and CEO are both new to their roles. But in 2016, huge emissions-cheating fines and a scathing external report on VW’s governance will shine a spotlight on leaving long-term insiders in charge. Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch looks particularly exposed.

Indian sale makes Bain Capital rare buyout hero

November 27, 2015

The U.S. firm has sold its remaining $116 mln stake in Hero MotoCorp four years after investing in the world’s largest motorbike maker. In rupee terms, Bain doubled its money in four years. As private equity pours into India, it’s a reminder that getting money out remains harder.

Volkswagen can take $80 bln hit before crumpling

October 15, 2015

The carmaker faces hefty penalties, legal fees and recall costs. But if its main business can be kept stable, VW can weather dieselgate without a capital increase or a breakup, Breakingviews analysis shows. Cash generation and strategic cuts give it room to absorb shocks.

Edward Hadas: VW, like BP, took the wrong chances

October 14, 2015

Studies of the oil company’s disasters showed a willingness to cut corners on safety. The carmaker’s deceit has not yet been thoroughly dissected, but its approach to regulation may have been similarly careless. Companies have to choose what matters. Bad choices can prove costly.