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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.

Buffett loses his voice - and maybe some sway

The Omaha billionaire said he didn’t vote against Coca-Cola’s controversial pay plan even though he disagreed with it, for fear of sending a wrong signal about the CEO. That’s an odd message to convey. It doesn’t mean Coke shouldn’t hear what its largest owner is saying, though.

London gives BoE an emerging economy problem

Foreign capital inflows are supporting a housing bubble in London, and have helped push up sterling - even though the UK’s trade position is almost dire. An unbalanced economy is getting worse. As pre-crisis emerging markets learned, this is a problem with no easy solution.

WH Group’s chopped IPO still looks unappetising

The Chinese pork producer is slashing its offering to as little as $1.3 billion. But its reluctance to cut the share price won’t tempt investors turned off by the fat valuation. With an overhang of private equity shareholders and a hefty debt burden the IPO remains a tough sell.

Valeant can boost its $47 bln bid for Allergan

The pharma M&A machine, working with hedgie Bill Ackman, thinks it can cut $2.7 bln of costs from the Botox maker. At Valeant’s single-digit tax rate, that’s worth nearly $25 bln. And that’s just the start of potential benefits. The deal would add up with a much bigger premium.

Manchester United’s crisis has silver lining

The English soccer club fired David Moyes, hapless successor to star manager Alex Ferguson, after one awful season. But the drama has an upside. Turmoil at the top of the game sustains fan and sponsor interest. As one of football’s biggest brands, United should benefit.

Dawn raid makes comeback via activist drone strike

Agitators usually take a stake in a company and then try to make something happen. Bill Ackman has instead teamed up with Valeant Pharmaceuticals to grab a 9.7 pct interest in $40 bln-plus Allergan, with a hostile takeover ready for deployment. It’s a potent battlefield tactic.