Rolls-Royce can emerge from turbulence intact

November 12, 2015

Cutting next year’s pre-tax profit estimates by a third will intensify calls for a break-up of the UK engine maker. But that would neither solve Rolls’ problems, which mostly stem from past strategic errors and cheap oil– nor would it make much sense at the current share price.

Alstom chase is distraction from Siemens revamp

May 7, 2014

The German engineering giant’s long-awaited new strategy sensibly focuses on improving efficiency and cutting slack. A possible Alstom deal comes at a bad time, even though the French rival would be a good industrial fit. Siemens management has enough to deal with in-house.

Alstom split would energise business units

April 25, 2014

Too much debt, a ropey rating and looming refinancing needs are Alstom’s key problems. The French engineering group would need more time to fix them than its shareholders seem to allow. A split would make sense, and GE can help.

GE/Alstom deal rumours test French reform drive

April 24, 2014

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.

Twitter gives peace a chance in patent wars

April 19, 2012

The social network will allow engineer-inventors to veto lawsuits against alleged infringers. That’s a model for curbing the expensive legal salvos that Apple, Microsoft and others lob just to slow each other down. If the rest of tech one day follows, innovation could benefit.

Schneider has powerful chance of winning Invensys

July 12, 2013

The French group has tentatively offered 3.3 bln stg for Invensys, the UK engineer chaired by veteran dealmaker Nigel Rudd. A counter-bid is possible: ABB, Emerson and GE could have a look. But the “for sale” sign has hung over Invensys for months and this is a pretty full price.