Confucius say: Don’t confuse Ant with unicorn

April 26, 2016

The $60 bln implied value of Chinese fintech group Ant Financial suggests PayPal-style innovation on steroids. It’s not so simple, though. The Alibaba affiliate’s fortunes may be tied more closely to the vagaries of PRC state capitalism than to private-sector disruption.

Wall Street defeated by Ivory Tower in Virginia

June 27, 2012

The U. of Virginia’s president beat back an ouster supported by hedgie Paul Tudor Jones and a former Goldman Sachs exec. But victory may be pyrrhic. For Thomas Jefferson’s school to survive in a bleaker fiscal world, the paradigm shifts Teresa Sullivan resisted look unavoidable.

FirstGroup cash call shows deleveraging imperative

May 20, 2013

The rail and bus operator is raising $1 bln to stave off a ratings downgrade. The chairman is leaving. Debt may be cheap, but too much is still a constraint. With equity markets rising, this won’t be the last over-geared firm to seek to restructure its balance sheet.

Reed CEO counts cost of cash call

November 11, 2009

Reed Elsevier has parted company with its chief executive Ian Smith after only eight months. Smith appears to be in part paying the price for Reed's unpopular share placing.

Nomura’s preemptive strike

September 24, 2009

A decision by Nomura Holdings to launch a $5.6 billion share offering knocked its unsuspecting shareholders for a loop today. Its investors, however, could end up thanking the Japanese bank for its preemptive strike.