Sanjaya Baru’s “The Accidental Prime Minister” is an insider’s account of how Sonia Gandhi defanged the reformist Manmohan Singh. The ensuing gloom, though, could spell glory for Narendra Modi, who will want to vest more power in India’s top job. That’s also what investors want.
Just as investors seemed to break through entrenched boards’ barricades, Coca-Cola owners - shockingly led by Warren Buffett - turned to jelly. A failure to challenge the transfer of vast wealth to 6,400 Coke soda jerks shows the agency problem still plagues Corporate America.
Zimmer’s $13 bln deal for rival Biomet promises savings. But the medical device maker is giving too much away to its target’s private equity owners for that to justify a 15 pct, or $2.3 bln, pop in its market value. This time, enthusiastic share buyers are betting on growth.
Shares in the Paris-based engineer jumped 14 pct on reports it has received a bid. Alstom vaguely denied the story. But mere talk about a sale to the U.S. conglomerate will embarrass the French government just as its business-friendly reforms are proving a hard sell domestically.
Foreign capital inflows are supporting a housing bubble in London, and have helped push up sterling - even though the UK’s trade position is almost dire. An unbalanced economy is getting worse. As pre-crisis emerging markets learned, this is a problem with no easy solution.
The Chinese pork producer is slashing its offering to as little as $1.3 billion. But its reluctance to cut the share price won’t tempt investors turned off by the fat valuation. With an overhang of private equity shareholders and a hefty debt burden the IPO remains a tough sell.
The pharma M&A machine, working with hedgie Bill Ackman, thinks it can cut $2.7 bln of costs from the Botox maker. At Valeant’s single-digit tax rate, that’s worth nearly $25 bln. And that’s just the start of potential benefits. The deal would add up with a much bigger premium.