Review: Modernizing Mexico, one feud at a time

May 22, 2015

Two Mexicos coexist, one an insular land of hard-to-kill monopolies in politics and business, the other more outward-looking, embracing modernity and even the United States. In “Amarres perros” pundit-politician Jorge Castañeda recalls a life of trying to change the balance.

Carlos Slim buys Spanish real estate on the cheap

March 5, 2015

The Mexican tycoon bought a 25 pct stake in property firm Realia at a discount and is eyeing a takeover. He is also the biggest shareholder of builder FCC, which in turn owns major stakes in Realia and Cementos Portland. Slim effectively controls all three. Minorities beware.

More than Slim odds America Movil buys T-Mobile

December 22, 2014

Carlos Slim’s telecoms empire needs to reduce its dependence on Mexico. The fourth U.S. wireless carrier is cheap, parent Deutsche Telekom doesn’t want it and there’s strategic logic to a deal. The increasingly frightful competition in U.S. telecoms may be a sticking point.

Why Citigroup would be better in bits

September 2, 2014

Nine years ago, Breakingviews proposed slicing the giant New York bank into smaller pieces to benefit shareholders. Post-crisis, the advantages of the idea extend beyond the stock market to global regulators and even taxpayers. It’s time to revisit breaking up Citi.

Wal-Mart scandal demands spirit of Sam Walton

April 23, 2012

Chairman Rob Walton must channel his father’s integrity and initiate an independent probe into how managers, including current executives, suppressed strong evidence of widespread bribery and corruption in Mexico. To recover, heads will need to roll without fear or favor.

Carlos Slim may drive KPN to poison

June 6, 2012

The Dutch telecoms group is scrambling to dodge what it sees as a takeover-on-the-cheap from the world’s richest man. It seems to want to do a deal in Germany that’s been talked about for years. But counterpart Telefonica isn’t ready to trade. KPN might resort to poisoned pills.

Santander can teach Citi the art of breaking up

September 10, 2012

The notion of a Spanish bank instructing the rest of the world on anything may sound, well, loco at present. But Santander’s methodical IPOs of operating units, the latest due in Mexico, present a reasonable model for an undervalued colossus like Citi to consider.

Diageo’s M&A machine misfires with Jose Cuervo

December 12, 2012

The spirits giant, once abstemious in M&A, has been lifted by a series of smallish takeovers. Now lengthy talks to buy the $3 bln-plus Cuervo have failed. Diageo might claim this shows it remains disciplined. But this is a meaningful setback in the United States.

Mexico may teach U.S. a lesson on good government

December 26, 2012

The country needs fiscal and energy sector reform. Its rival political parties have little history of working together, so that might sound hard. But they look set to reach a compromise with far less rancor than their counterparts north of the border.

AB InBev setback may hasten last round of beer M&A

February 1, 2013

U.S. government opposition to AB InBev’s $20 bln buyout of Grupo Modelo may speed up a last bout of sector consolidation. The world’s biggest brewer may yet find a workable compromise with trustbusters. But an obvious plan B is pouncing on emerging-markets focused SABMiller.