SABMiller’s Budweiser fightback lacks punch

October 9, 2015

The Peroni brewer’s promise to find $550 mln of new cost savings by 2020 is paltry in the context of the $100 bln approach from AB InBev. SAB might have more powerful defences in its locker. It had better, if it wants to stay independent from the Budweiser brewer.

Dell’s gnarly $50 bln EMC idea smells of peak M&A

October 8, 2015

The PC maker may offer to buy the data-storage firm. Borrowing $40 bln or so wouldn’t be easy. Spinning off part of EMC’s 81 pct stake in its $35 bln subsidiary VMware would add complexity, too, and make it tough for the numbers to work for everyone. It could be a deal too far.

Deutsche Bank’s kitchen sink augurs new plumbing

October 8, 2015

Germany’s biggest lender has shocked with a pre-announced 6.2 bln euro Q3 loss on writedowns of past M&A. Even the symbolic dividend looks endangered. In particular, a revaluation of the 1999 Bankers Trust deal implies new boss John Cryan may have a thorough renovation in mind.

Bud almost has the SAB keg tapped

October 7, 2015

AB InBev’s $99 bln cash offer for SABMiller is robust. The alternative stock package is unusual, but looks cleverly designed to meet the tax needs of Altria and BevCo, SAB’s 41 percent shareholders. It also eases post-deal debt pressures. MegaBeer is almost here.

Record-slow U.S. bank deal offers cautionary tale

October 1, 2015

The Fed took three years to OK the $16 bln M&T’s takeover of smaller Hudson City, having demanded fixes to the buyer’s back office. CEO Bob Wilmers now looks like he’s paying over the odds for a struggling rival. Others in the industry with problems won’t find M&A a quick fix.

Business Insider picks deep German pockets

September 29, 2015

Axel Springer is buying the business and tech news website at a $442 mln valuation. Nine times sales implies a long run of fast growth. It evokes Dresdner’s acquisition of Wasserstein Perella, a deal from the days when Business Insider boss Henry Blodget worked on Wall Street.

Hostile bid makes best TV in U.S. broadcast fight

September 28, 2015

Nexstar wants to buy Media General for $4.1 bln, breaking up the latter’s agreed merger with Meredith. The new offer makes financial sense for Media General owners and would create a local TV player minus the baggage of magazines. The mystery is why Nexstar wasn’t first choice.

Bud-SAB tie-up hinges on a scramble for Africa

September 24, 2015

Cost-cutting will help brewer AB InBev justify a $110 billion strike at SABMiller. But a convincing top-line growth story is required if existing equity investors are to roll into the new entity. There are several levers. Africa is the most important.

Altice keeps powder dry in $18 bln Cablevision bid

September 17, 2015

Patrick Drahi’s telecoms group is buying its second U.S. cable operator to become the fourth-largest player. The valuation looks high but savings will help. Importantly, Altice isn’t contributing much cash. Possible co-investment with private equity could reduce costs further.

Bud can swallow SABMiller without busting a gut

September 17, 2015

AB InBev’s offer for the Peroni brewer could come in at $110 billion. Up to half might be paid in equity, while disposals may cut the cash outlay by around $20 billion. Even before synergies, that could leave the new group’s net debt to EBITDA ratio the right side of four times.