Breakingviews

Grolsch could leave bitter taste at Asahi

January 13, 2016

Japan’s top brewer is eyeing beers left over from ABI’s takeover of SABMiller. A mooted $3.4 bln tab for Peroni and Grolsch sounds frothy, especially with limited potential to cut costs. Asahi looks desperate for overseas growth, even at the expense of shareholder value.

Japan’s outbound M&A wave will sweep up minnows

December 29, 2015

A growing number of companies are trying to buy their way out of a shrinking home market. While blue-chips like Canon, Nippon Life and Mitsubishi UFJ are still shopping abroad, smaller companies are getting bolder. Watch for less familiar names venturing overseas in 2016.

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.

Cox: Two signs of M&A bacchanal’s last hurrah

December 1, 2015

The boom just topped $4 trln, helped along by one telltale massive deal and another much smaller one. Pfizer’s takeover of Allergan is clearly predicated on exploiting tax loopholes while a U.S. retailer is getting into the pizza racket. Both indicate a cycle well past its peak.

Messy deal calls truce in China online travel war

October 27, 2015

The $3.4 bln tie-up between rival travel sites Ctrip and Qunar heralds a strategic ceasefire in increasingly costly discount battles. Yet the share swap with Qunar parent Baidu falls short of a full merger. Shareholders can only guess the value created from the tangled alliance.

Aussie vitamins get iron ore-style China boost

September 18, 2015

A Guangzhou baby-formula firm is gobbling up Swisse, one of Australia’s biggest vitamin makers. The $1 bln deal caps a stunning run for clean-living specialists Down Under. As miners can attest, shifts in Chinese demand can transform an industry’s fortunes for better – or worse.

Beer megadeal could fuel a round of M&A in China

September 17, 2015

Combining AB InBev with SABMiller would make waves in the world’s biggest beer market. The merged group might try to keep SAB’s stake in market leader Snow. That would force smaller rivals into defensive deals. Or local partner CRE could buy out SAB and lead consolidation itself.

Chinese plane-hire deal survives market turbulence

September 4, 2015

Bohai Leasing’s $2.6 bln bid for Dublin-based Avolon confirms China’s desire to grow in aircraft rental. The $31-a-share offer is slightly below Bohai’s indicative bid a month ago. But rising interest rates and the falling yuan could have been reasons to drive a harder bargain.

With strong new backer, Olam gets what Noble needs

August 28, 2015

Mitsubishi is backing a Singapore-listed trader bashed by short-sellers, paying $1.1 bln at a big premium. Noble needs such a vote of confidence. But the Japanese group is actually endorsing Olam – a firm supported by Temasek that has been spared the worst of the commodity rout.

Glaxo sale comes with cheeky earnings side effect

August 21, 2015

UK pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline is selling a multiple sclerosis drug to Novartis for up to $1 bln. It’s a logical move and Glaxo gets a good price. The quirk: it will include proceeds from the one-off as part of underlying revenue. Pharma investors need to watch their core.