Breakingviews

Buffett’s $4.7 bln Duracell deal a double positive

November 13, 2014

Berkshire Hathaway is trading its Procter & Gamble stake for the consumer stalwart’s battery unit. Swapping a reliable staple for a declining business looks odd. But it’s tax-efficient and P&G’s injecting $1.8 bln of cash. Even with that, the seller’s getting a decent price.

Review: No bets on Berkshire after Warren Buffett

October 31, 2014

Lawrence Cunningham’s “Berkshire Beyond Buffett” argues the Oracle of Omaha has built a corporate culture that will ensure success after his departure. The book does a good job of cataloging Buffett’s portfolio. But it doesn't make a strong enough case for investors to follow.

Why buybacks should be banned

By Edward Hadas
September 16, 2014

Some share repurchases get Warren Buffett’s seal of approval. But the great investor is on the wrong track. Buybacks are really dividends by another name. The price doesn’t matter. Besides, the practice is unfair to some shareholders and to governments. The world would be better without them.

Buffett and tax outrage both diversions in BK deal

August 26, 2014

The Sage of Omaha is lending Burger King money, at a lucrative 9 percent, but his imprint tells stock investors nothing. And contrary to social media hysteria, a new parent company in Canada isn’t going to fleece the U.S. taxman. The $11 bln purchase of Tim Hortons is just an LBO.

Why can Burger King, but not Wendy’s, own Hortons?

August 26, 2014

In 2005, Bill Ackman, now BK’s No. 2 shareholder, pressured rival Wendy’s to spin off the Canadian doughnut chain - arguing it was undervalued, the synergies “minimal” and management insufficiently incentivized. Funny how a robust dose of financial engineering changes minds.

Inverses Buffett and Icahn correlate many ways too

March 3, 2014

The billionaires are touting their respective returns and investment approaches in shareholder letters. While time horizons and styles distinguish them, both outperform the market by playing hardball and trading on personal brands. Neither can be easily replicated either.

Eight questions for three Buffetts

October 23, 2013

Warren Buffett’s son, Howard G., and his grandson, Howard W., have written a book chronicling their work on hunger, farming and poverty around the world. The three men talk to Breakingviews about the effects of inefficient markets, technology, tax policy and Berkshire Hathaway.

Warren Buffett’s no-dividend policy on thin ice

March 4, 2013

In his annual letter the Sage of Omaha defended his stance against cash payouts. But Berkshire Hathaway is underperforming and Buffett reckons it won’t match its glory days again. That’s likely to increase the chances of a dividend, whether from Buffett or his successor.

M&A advisers get a lot of Valentine’s Day love

February 14, 2013

Cupid’s two big deals alone, Heinz and American Airlines, required the services of two dozen banks and law firms. Some $36 bln of corporate hugs on Thursday pushed the 2013 global deals tally 17 pct ahead of where it was a year ago. Hearts must be racing across Wall Street.

Heinz deal gives taste of new buyout secret sauce

February 14, 2013

Private equity firm 3G is swallowing the ketchup maker for $28 bln with Warren Buffett’s help. In the past, such mega-buyouts required multiple LBO firms to work. With club deals all but dead, the Heinz takeover, like Dell’s, shows the new way forward.