Breakingviews

 
The mogul’s Fox empire is poised to sell pay-TV arms in Italy and Germany to BSkyB, his UK satellite affiliate. There’s strategic logic to the asset shuffle and proceeds could help sweeten the $80 bln U.S. bid. How Murdoch treats many non-Murdoch owners involved is the linchpin.

Allergan bosses put money where their mouths are

The drugmaker says it’s worth more on its own than the $52 bln Valeant is offering. That’s straight from the empty-promise, takeover-defense playbook. Allergan, however, is linking stock and option grants to lofty profit goals. It’s a bolder gambit that should become an M&A norm.

StanChart at risk of "doing an HSBC" - badly

The bank has issued a knee-jerk statement attempting to quell noise about the future of its chairman and CEO. The effect is to make the board look rattled. StanChart lacks a big enough pool of realistic alternatives to repeat HSBC’s dual change in similar circumstances in 2010.

China’s old meat is a corporate health warning

KFC’s parent and McDonald’s have been tainted by stale meat that slipped through a supplier’s controls. Monitoring a rapidly growing business is tough, and global brands face a high bar – just ask JPMorgan or Glaxo. Being foreign and successful is fast becoming a health risk.

“New Deutsche” just got pushed back again

The German investment bank is under fire from U.S. regulators for poor-quality financial reporting. In recent months Deutsche Bank has raised capital and revamped strategy – but that’s the easy part. Making investors believe culture has genuinely changed will take much longer.

Apple winds up earnings hope for new gadgets

The iPhone maker racked up another quarter of so-so growth – and astonishing cash flow. CEO Tim Cook has paid out more than $40 bln over 12 months but added nearly $20 bln to the kitty. The lower share count may fuel a stock run-up if Apple soon unveils another must-have device.

Goldman chums return John Thain to semi-importance

Merrill Lynch’s last boss has been doing penance running lending minnow CIT for four years. Now he’s spending $3.4 bln to buy OneWest, the remains of a bust bank revived by fellow Goldman alums. It’s a smart deal that restores Thain’s membership in the SIFI club, if only just.