LSE merger of equal-ness is a red herring

March 4, 2016

Is it a merger? Are they really equals? It matters not. Deutsche Boerse’s approach for its UK rival could leave London Stock Exchange shareholders 16 pct better off. If a spoiler comes from U.S. peer ICE, value not format is what should guide LSE’s board and boss Xavier Rolet.

Toyota can make handy tune-up with Daihatsu

January 27, 2016

The world’s top carmaker could buy out minority shareholders in its $5 bln subsidiary. That would eliminate inefficiency while boosting its small-car credentials. It’s also a good use of Toyota stock. A bolder follow-up would be to take control of affiliate Subaru.

Dow-DuPont an activist coup on Corporate America

December 9, 2015

The $60 bln chemical giants are in merger talks, according to reports, a testament to the persistence of pushy investors Dan Loeb and Nelson Peltz. If the companies pull off a deal and a rumored three-way split, it could be this generation’s version of barbarians at the gate.

Container shipping deal stacks up in multiple ways

December 8, 2015

French giant CMA CGM is buying Singapore’s ailing Neptune Orient Lines for $2.4 billion plus debt. Offering majority owner Temasek and public shareholders close to book value – a 49 percent premium – looks generous. But the unlisted buyer can chart a course to value creation.

Qube edges ahead in Aussie infrastructure fight

November 26, 2015

Brookfield’s $6.5 bln agreed bid for Australia’s Asciano has hit serious opposition from competition regulators. The Canadian group could yet salvage its takeover. But interloper Qube, whose break-up consortium is already examining Asciano’s books, now looks like the favourite.

Pfizer-Allergan to throw down tax-reform gauntlet

November 23, 2015

The drug firms are shrugging off Uncle Sam’s latest attempt to prevent mergers predicated on relocating to low-tax jurisdictions. The largest-ever inversion, at some $150 bln, ought to raise pressure on lawmakers to find more comprehensive fixes to the great M&A tax dodge.

Aussie target Asciano could push for higher bid

November 10, 2015

The ports and rail group is now fielding competing, $6 bln-plus takeover proposals from Canada’s Brookfield and a break-up consortium led by local interloper Qube. The target’s board may want to see a clearer gulf in value before hitching itself to Qube’s wagon.

Brookfield’s Aussie deal faces surprise blockade

October 30, 2015

The Canadian group’s $6.3 bln offer for Australian port and rail group Asciano has been upset by smaller local rival Qube and partners snatching a 20 pct stake. Brookfield cannot sweeten its way out of trouble. Still, some mix of asset sales and co-investments might just work.

Heineken strength justifies mega-merger abstinence

October 28, 2015

The Dutch brewer’s quarterly sales increased 8 pct year-on-year. That’s better than latest figures from SABMiller and AB InBev. Carlsberg dropped 4 pct last quarter. While Heineken’s three global peers are chasing growth through change, the green-bottle brewer is sitting pretty.

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.