Breakingviews

Mylan may have found cure for the common conflict

May 4, 2015

The drugmaker sued its former lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis for advising Teva on its $40 bln hostile bid to buy the company. The attorneys say Mylan agreed, but a court may finally rule such waivers unethical. Even better would be if the case emboldens clients to stop signing them.

Salesforce’s slow growth may prompt hunt for buyer

April 30, 2015

The $47 bln software outfit is said to be on the market. Oracle and Microsoft want to beef up cloud capacity, making them possible suitors. Founder Marc Benioff has been offloading shares, and persistent losses and disappointing revenue could tempt him to hawk the whole thing.

Pharma Arbageddon fears keep traders on sidelines

April 27, 2015

Teva is after Mylan, which wants Perrigo. Such multibillion-dollar hostile deals are usually catnip for M&A punters. Recent failures have made them skittish, though. And these two battles come with cross-border complexity, antitrust and a poison pill. No wonder arbs are wary.

Coach tries LVMH model on for size with shoe buy

January 6, 2015

The U.S. leather-goods purveyor is paying $574 mln for Stuart Weitzman, the first acquisition since its 1941 founding. While this looks like an admission its core brand has maxed out, Coach is betting it can use its know-how to expand other marques like LVMH and Kering have.

Tesco will have to fight for its independence

December 30, 2014

At $40 bln, the UK’s No. 1 grocer would be an M&A mouthful. A leveraged buyout looks tricky but strategic buyers have a rare opportunity. Tesco’s long-suffering current shareholders might jump at a chance to cash out. Much depends on the person chosen as the new chair.

M&A spin doctors could get swept up in the action

December 29, 2014

Financial PR specialists have been buoyed by the boom in mergers and activist investing. History suggests independent outfits like Joele Frank or Brunswick may be tempted to find an investor or bigger owner. They should at least have enough deal nous to know when to sell.

Haitong’s global ambitions start from low base

December 9, 2014

The Chinese broker has scooped up bailed-out Portuguese lender Espirito Santo’s investment bank for $466 million. Though the brand is dented and many staff have quit, it brings a toehold in London and New York as well as Lisbon. It’s a safer way to build an international network.

Private equity shows signs of pre-crisis brio

November 25, 2014

Canada’s Onex has bought Swiss packager SIG for up to $4.7 bln in a secondary buyout. It’s one of Europe’s biggest LBOs in five years and deploys pre-crisis levels of leverage. Private equity restlessness and a shortage of big targets created the conditions for a landmark deal.

BT is in strong position for mobile M&A

November 24, 2014

The fixed-line telco has shaken up UK communications by pushing into TV and now mobile. The reward is that BT has a choice of two mobile networks to buy, O2 or EE, and few likely counter-bidders. A 10 bln stg deal would help lift sales and protect BT’s broadband business.

Valeant’s activist deal too clever by half

November 18, 2014

The $45 bln drug company’s tilt at Allergan alongside Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square leaves it with just a modest windfall to show for a seven-month campaign that risked legally questionable tactics. Valeant boss Michael Pearson’s M&A experiment is not one to repeat.