Breakingviews

Indian tycoon’s sweetened Cairn bid is still sour

July 25, 2016

Anil Agarwal's mining group Vedanta has upped its offer to buy out the minorities of its cash-rich Indian subsidiary. The 9 percent premium looks far from compelling. The fate of the $2.4 bln bid rests with Cairn India's two largest outside investors.

SoftBank’s Son tests limits of investor patience

July 19, 2016

SoftBank shares tanked after its no-synergy, $32 bln bet on UK chip designer ARM. Having just lost his heir apparent, founder Son talks about the company as if it is private and says the highly leveraged entity is "net debt zero". It takes the shine off his striking track record.

AMC-Odeon deal is both trailer and closing credits

July 12, 2016

The U.S. cinema chain is buying its European peer for $1.2 bln. The deal ends Odeon's epic stint in private equity hands. It's a further sign of the global ambitions of Wanda, AMC's Chinese backer. And it could be the first of many post-Brexit deals by dollar-based buyers.

U.S. anti-inversion push has a harmful flipside

July 7, 2016

Treasury's plan to rein in tax-motivated overseas M&A takes aim at intercompany loans. It's a good idea to curb so-called earnings stripping where deductible interest is sent to an overseas parent. The proposed rule is broad, however, and could hurt normal funding practices.

Twinkie the Kid rides again, on risky debt saddle

July 5, 2016

Hostess, indebted maker of the iconic snack cake, is going public in a deal with a SPAC run by Gores Group alongside investors Apollo and Metropoulos. At 10.4 times EBITDA, it's a high price for a spiffed-up baker that went bankrupt twice due to changing consumer tastes.

Viewsroom: The art of sweet deals; Trump on trade

July 1, 2016

Hershey kisses off Mondelez’s $23 bln bid while media mogul John Malone manages his own sweetheart wrap of Lions Gate and Starz. Plus, presidential contender Donald Trump courts Bernie Sanders’ supporters and why Europe’s banks should be prepping for the U.S. stress test.

Viewsroom: Clippy’s resume, Big Mac for Chicago, Lax gun laws

June 17, 2016

Microsoft’s willingness to plunk down $26 bln for LinkedIn proves the software giant is slipping back to its old habit of illogical deals. Plus McDonald's move to Chicago is a win for the broke city and why lax gun laws in the U.S. are hurting the country’s influence abroad.

Chancellor: Why I have voted for Brexit

June 16, 2016

Prophecies of economic turmoil if Britain leaves the EU lack credibility. If the EU cared for its citizens, substantive reforms would have been enacted. A vote for Brexit shows solidarity with Europe’s public - and with the principles of Kant, the great Enlightenment philosopher.

Fantasy-sports merger would face harsh reality

June 15, 2016

There may be logic to uniting FanDuel and DraftKings for backers that include Fox, Google, Comcast and KKR. The legal-defense synergies alone sound promising, although a deal could ignite new antitrust concerns. State lawmakers also can curb one big site as easily as two.

Microsoft’s CEO abandons prudence with LinkedIn

June 13, 2016

Satya Nadella’s $26 bln deal could reinvigorate the software giant’s slipping grip on corporate computer systems and employee interactions. Paying a 50 pct premium for a flawed business raises several red flags, however. Microsoft’s M&A record doesn’t inspire confidence, either.