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.

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

By Stephanie Rogan
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.