Best reason to keep Viacom’s interim boss: breakup

August 24, 2016

The $17 bln media firm named Tom Dooley as interim CEO. It's a strange move given his deep ties to ousted boss Philippe Dauman and his strategy. But while that makes him an odd choice to revive Viacom's fortunes he may know how to get the best value for its various assets.

Glencore can’t delay with $2 bln agri-sale

November 17, 2015

The debt-laden commodities trader is slimming down in agriculture. But two months into the disposal process, one potential buyer says he thinks the business is “not really on the market”. With copper prices hitting a fresh six-year low, Glencore can’t afford to drag its feet.

Yahoo needs truth rather than report from McKinsey

November 9, 2015

The struggling internet site has hired the firm for advice on new opportunities. It’s unclear, though, what management consultants can do to arrest the company’s descent that a procession of CEOs hasn’t already tried. A blunt memo recommending a sale would make better reading.

Zurich can justify a swoop on RSA

August 6, 2015

The Swiss insurer released disappointing results but thinks its UK peer remains a good fit. Zurich’s hurdle rate for investment is around 10 percent. Offering 600p a share for RSA, a 36 pct premium, should allow that without synergy assumptions being too ambitious.

Drinks can merger may yet get flattened

February 19, 2015

U.S. drinks can maker Ball agreed to pay 4.3 bln stg in cash for British rival Rexam. Ball also pledged to pay a chunky 302 mln stg fee if it is blocked. Rexam’s share price suggests the merger may still fall foul of trustbusters.

SoftBank and Shrek may lack on-screen chemistry

September 29, 2014

The Japanese conglomerate may offer $3.4 bln for movie studio DreamWorks Animation. Softbank’s giant balance sheet can easily absorb the hit-and-miss earnings of film production. But with each big acquisition, it becomes less clear how the group’s parts fit together.

General Mills may smother pricey organic target

September 9, 2014

The $33 bln maker of Cheerios is paying $820 mln, a 37 pct premium, for “natural” mac-n-cheese purveyor Annie’s. But big companies often squash growth when they swallow small targets whole. Coca-Cola’s recent stakes in Monster and Green Mountain may offer a better template.

Henry Kravis cultivates private equity perennials

May 30, 2014

U.S. firms like his are selling companies to each other at a record pace. Such deals are dubious, especially given how much capital is stockpiled. But KKR’s $1.6 bln buyout of landscaper Brickman and quick merger with rival ValleyCrest suggest the grass can indeed be greener.

Upstart M&A boutiques earn place at fee table

August 18, 2011

It wasn't always clear there would be enough work to go around. In the aftermath of the crisis, flocks of bankers either went solo or joined veterans like Bob Greenhill and Roger Altman, who had done so years before.

Forget the IPO, Facebook could reverse into Yahoo

By Rob Cox
September 12, 2011

Now that Yahoo has fired its chief executive, anything could happen to the rudderless Internet hodgepodge.