Breakingviews

Pandora investor hits right note with sale push

May 17, 2016

Activist Keith Meister’s firm urges the online music service to find buyers after becoming its largest shareholder. A costly purchase, CEO change and lack of song rights suggest the company’s fading. Rivals Spotify and Sirius XM are possible partners. The board should be all ears.

Pfizer’s $5.2 bln Anacor bid dodges bigger issue

May 16, 2016

The drug giant may have bagged a good deal for the maker of eczema and toenail fungus remedies – assuming Anacor gets all needed approvals and sales soar. Bolt-on acquisitions can be helpful, but the important question for $200 bln Pfizer remains: will boss Ian Read break it up?

from Viewsroom:

Viewsroom: Ultimate Fighting, Uber drivers and fintech

May 12, 2016

Mixed martial arts' premier promoter may be on the block for as much as $4 billion, putting it in some pricey company. Uber drivers, meanwhile, scored a win in New York, where the ride hailing service blessed their affiliation with a labor union that could help them negotiate better benefits. Finally, alternative lenders may face more regulation in the wake of a kerfuffle at Lending Club that cost the company's boss his job.

Bayer would risk choking on Monsanto

May 12, 2016

The $94 bln German chemical giant may be mulling a bid for the U.S. seed maker. Monsanto, worth $39 bln, would need convincing. A deal pitched at a 30 pct premium is financially feasible, but Bayer would need to raise a lot of cash – and deal with clashing cultures.

Ultimate Fighting punches up value of live sports

May 11, 2016

The U.S. promotion firm is reportedly seeking up to $4 bln for its mixed martial arts contests, with China’s Dalian Wanda viewed as a likely buyer. That seems high for a relative upstart in the world of pro athletics. But huge audiences for real-time events may justify the price.

From Allergan to Zoetis: new drug M&A perspectives

May 10, 2016

The acquisitive maker of Botox is devoting capital to buybacks and paying down debt. Meanwhile, Bill Ackman is selling a big stake in the animal-health company he has been pushing as a takeover target. With luck, the two moves together signal a more subdued approach to deals.

Digesting Krispy Kreme may require more sweetener

May 9, 2016

JAB has baked a 25 pct premium into its $1.4 bln offer to take the donut maker private. The billionaire-backed owner of coffee sellers Keurig and Peet’s should be able to boost sales and margins. But Krispy Kreme may prove too appetizing for others to pass up without a fight.

Farcical oil deal prompts George Costanza defense

May 6, 2016

Like the character in sitcom “Seinfeld,” Energy Transfer hopes to shake up a sour relationship: the $21 bln takeover of pipeline rival Williams. ETE aims to pay less cash, seeming to force the issue by making itself as unattractive as possible. The stakes are no laughing matter.

Pfizer mulls actually having an M&A strategy

May 5, 2016

The $205 bln drug giant’s last two huge acquisition attempts failed. Pfizer could yet try another merger to cut its tax rate, it could enter a potentially heated auction for $10 bln biotech Medivation, or it could split up. Dealmaking success depends on having clearer goals.

Newspaper deal would solve Tribune’s woes

April 25, 2016

USA Today owner Gannett’s $815 mln unsolicited offer to buy the publisher of the LA Times doesn’t just make financial sense for the buyer. It would also allow Tribune shareholders to escape flatlining revenue at a headline-grabbing 63 percent premium to its current market value.