New Twitter CEO flaps with one wing behind back

October 5, 2015

Co-founder Jack Dorsey is now the micro-blogging site’s permanent boss. But he also leads payments service Square, which is considering an IPO later this year. Perhaps he can succeed at these two very demanding jobs. Twitter, though, has saddled its investors with a risky gamble.

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.

IMAX listing showcases China box office boom

September 23, 2015

The big-screen movie company is floating its Chinese unit at a valuation of up to $1.6 bln. The offering gives private equity backers an exit and helps lock in local partners. More importantly, it allows IMAX to show shareholders back home the value of mainland audiences.

Disney could use Time Warner cord-cutting tips

August 5, 2015

The entertainment giant insists on selling cable shows in a bundle, despite losses at ESPN attributable to growing viewer preference for buying à la carte. Time Warner is benefiting from the trend, offering HBO separately. A business built on TV’s status quo looks like fantasy.

Edward Hadas: Nikkei joins demographic denial cult

By Edward Hadas
July 29, 2015

Nikkei is the latest Japanese company to look for growth outside the shrinking domestic market. Its Financial Times purchase may work out, but the approach is flawed. Few companies can profitably escape their demographic destiny. It may be better to accept steady decline.

The Economist’s elite owners seek elite print run

July 28, 2015

The Agnellis, the Rothschilds, et al may buy more as Pearson sells. A 6 pct dividend yield has appeal. If the valuation – recently 730 mln stg – and payout are to keep rising, however, the weekly has to succeed where other publications have failed and turn its top line around.

Rob Cox: FT is to Nikkei as Jim Beam is to Suntory

July 24, 2015

Outside Japan, the $1.3 bln purchase of the salmon-hued newspaper is hard to fathom. The finances may never stack up. From a Japanese perspective, the calculus is different. In a shrinking market, without a product that travels internationally, deals like this are existential.

Financial logic in $1.3 bln FT buy is paper thin

By Guest Contributor
July 23, 2015

Japanese media group Nikkei is taking a bold step with its purchase of the Financial Times. The price equates to 35 times adjusted operating income. Sure, Nikkei gets a bucketload of kudos. But the tag is around three times higher than the multiple enjoyed by quoted media peers.

BBC needs good pruning, not root-and-branch change

July 16, 2015

UK lawmakers are questioning the broadcaster's remit. Its 3.7 bln stg pseudo-state funding is anticompetitive. But while the BBC, like the monarchy and NHS, comes from another era, reformers need to be careful. A "bonsai" BBC – smaller and stronger – might be worth cultivating.

Univision’s IPO could be just a warm-up act

By Guest Contributor
July 7, 2015

Private equity backers are finally floating the fast-growing, debt-laden U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster. Univision would make a nice fit for Disney, Time Warner or CBS. A full sale, however, may wait until the valuation – and minority owner Televisa’s position – is clearer.