Pfizer-Allergan gets no support from scaredy arbs

November 24, 2015

The drugmakers’ shares are trading far below the prices implied by Pfizer’s all-stock offer - as if the merger were going to create no value. Arbitrageurs who used to exploit such gaps have little taste for massive deals – especially ones that have politicians on the warpath.

C&W deal exposes John Malone’s paper-thin trackers

November 20, 2015

The Latam and Caribbean cable operator’s $8 bln sale to the media mogul’s Liberty Global presents shareholders with three forms of payment. The C&W board is recommending the one without a tracking stock. That partly undercuts the reason for creating such shadow shares.

German co-op bank M&A shows Landesbanken the way

November 20, 2015

The merger of cooperative banks DZ and WGZ is a lesson for Germany’s state-owned lenders. The deal generates 100 mln euros of annual cost benefits. Ropey Landesbanken are bogged down by regional vanities but cannot afford to leave that money on the table by dodging mergers.

Willis could kill merger-of-equals conceit

November 18, 2015

The UK-based insurance broker’s $18 bln union with U.S. consultancy Towers Watson is on the rocks. Investors have turned some $5 bln of promised synergy value into $1 bln of value destruction. A rescue would probably unbalance the economics, undermining the promised equality.

Airgas schools market on long-term greedy

November 17, 2015

Shareholders will receive $10.3 bln in cash selling to Air Liquide. That’s a 51 pct premium, which also means Airgas has outperformed rivals and the S&P 500 since early 2010 despite being the target of an unsuccessful hostile bid. Successive CEOs played their hand well.

Hyatt’s M&A fail is small win for good governance

November 17, 2015

The U.S. hotelier lost to Marriott in the $12 bln takeover of Starwood. One factor was the Pritzker family’s tight grip on Hyatt. It conceded the flaw by offering to alter its super-voting share scheme in the bid. The rejection provides a warning to other feudal companies.

Media General ups M&A game with Goldman on side

November 17, 2015

The U.S. local TV broadcaster rejected Nexstar’s $4 bln bid but said it would negotiate. That’s an improvement on sticking blindly to its own deal to buy Meredith, which looks worse for shareholders and strategically odd. New advisers may be helping – and Nexstar could pay more.

Deal cracks open fizzy finance of craft brewing

November 16, 2015

Constellation Brands is buying San Diego’s Ballast Point, maker of Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, for $1 bln. Though small beer next to AB InBev’s M&A, it offers one of the first glimpses into exactly what established brewers will pay to acquire coolness. The figures are sobering.

Financial vacancy at new Marriott-Starwood inn

November 16, 2015

The $12 bln merger would create the world’s biggest hotelier. Marriott boss Arne Sorenson touts value creation, but the stated $200 mln in cost savings won’t cover the premium his company is paying. Starwood owners also initially reacted unhappily. The deal is looking defensive.

AB InBev too coy over SAB mega-deal’s benefits

November 11, 2015

The Budweiser brewer reckons its tie-up with SABMiller will generate cost savings worth around $10 bln. Investors have added roughly $50 bln to the combined companies’ value since the deal was mooted. The gap suggests the market likes the deal more than AB InBev dares to say.