Breakingviews

Li Ka-shing converts to shareholder value religion

January 12, 2015

Asia’s richest man is splitting his empire in two: a property company, and everything else. The reshuffle should help shrink the conglomerate discount while allowing Li to leverage up in real estate. It’s an overdue recognition there is value to unlock in the $85 billion empire.

Energizer split leaves biggest problem intact

April 30, 2014

The struggling $7 bln batteries-to-tampons group plans to separate into household and personal care companies. That may improve focus, but it’s hard to see how it addresses Energizer’s main challenge: mustering more resources to take on industry gorilla Procter & Gamble.

Congratulations Google, you’re now a conglomerate

February 15, 2012

U.S. and EU antitrust authorities have cleared the search firm’s $12.5 bln purchase of Motorola. Its hardware foray might open new markets - or be a vital means of defending its advertising business. But on Wall Street, diversification like this merits a valuation discount.