SABMiller’s growth focus raises Budweiser stakes

October 6, 2015

The South African-born brewer used the G-word six times in the first three sentences of an ostensibly ordinary Q2 trading statement. The intention looks clear. Seven days ahead of Anheuser’s deadline to launch a formal $100 bln-plus offer, SAB is saying: pay up or shut up.

M&A running out of road on Easy Street

September 30, 2015

Since July, only four out of 10 U.S. buyers’ stocks have risen after a deal announcement. That’s a big drop from 80 pct in early 2014. Blaming volatility misses the point. Investors just aren’t convinced by increasingly bold and messy deals. The end of a merger boom may be nigh.

Bud-SABMiller investors punch drunk on synergies

September 18, 2015

Markets have added $30 billion to the two brewers’ value in response to a mooted merger. A simple analysis suggests that’s akin to saving at least 15 percent of SABMiller’s revenue – close to what AB InBev got from its last big deal. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tall order.

Bud’s mega-beer deal will brew global reset

September 16, 2015

After years of speculation, AB InBev has approached SABMiller about a takeover that could value the combined entity at around $280 bln. The giant would complete global consolidation of the brewing industry and lead a new round of regional disposals, spins and amalgamations.

Heineken crafts telling move away from global beer

September 9, 2015

The Dutch beer giant has bought into a Californian brewer of pale ale. The undisclosed financials will be small in the context of this 40 bln euro company. But strategically it is a big deal. Heineken is accepting it needs more than fizzy beer in green bottles.

Li Ka-shing’s power deal is a tidy-up too far

September 8, 2015

The Hong Kong tycoon wants his CKI unit to buy the rest of $18 bln affiliate Power Assets. Li’s latest restructuring would create a simpler, cash-rich firm with lots of M&A opportunities. But the all-share, no premium tie-up doesn’t look great for Power investors.

Mylan $28 bln offer not good enough for Perrigo

September 8, 2015

The generic drugmaker’s hostile bid comes with a skimpy premium, and is mostly in its own paper. Perrigo investors shouldn’t want stock in a shareholder-unfriendly company with bad governance and financial risk. An auction could generate a better outcome than selling to Mylan.

Yoox glee at Net-a-Porter exit may wear thin

September 3, 2015

Shares in the upmarket online retailer popped 5 pct as Net’s founder cashed out of the merger agreed in March. Terms of the severance deal with Natalie Massenet confirm that Yoox bought its rival at a bargain price. But it is losing know-how at an important time.

Buffett’s $37 bln Castparts deal lacks precision

August 10, 2015

The Oracle’s Berkshire Hathaway is paying 19 times earnings for aircraft components maker Precision Castparts. The acquisition fits Buffett’s mold, but also coincides with cyclical highs in plane orders, stock valuations and M&A. Even for a long-term investor, the timing is odd.

Shire M&A machine stumbles on $30 bln Baxalta bid

August 4, 2015

The onetime Irish target for AbbVie is planning a mega-deal of its own. Unlike the previous combination, Shire’s Baxalta purchase has industrial logic as well as tax benefits. Shareholders, though, might have preferred being bought out to assuming all the risks of a takeover.