Breakingviews

 
Several shareholders object to the $180 bln drinks giant’s equity pay plan. Some want the chairman and CEO jobs split. Nearly a quarter dissed top executives’ comp last year. With the stock underperforming, it’s no wonder investors are grouchy ahead of Wednesday’s annual meeting.

WH Group’s chopped IPO still looks unappetising

The Chinese pork producer is slashing its offering to as little as $1.3 billion. But its reluctance to cut the share price won’t tempt investors turned off by the fat valuation. With an overhang of private equity shareholders and a hefty debt burden the IPO remains a tough sell.

Valeant can boost its $47 bln bid for Allergan

The pharma M&A machine, working with hedgie Bill Ackman, thinks it can cut $2.7 bln of costs from the Botox maker. At Valeant’s single-digit tax rate, that’s worth nearly $25 bln. And that’s just the start of potential benefits. The deal would add up with a much bigger premium.

Manchester United’s crisis has silver lining

The English soccer club fired David Moyes, hapless successor to star manager Alex Ferguson, after one awful season. But the drama has an upside. Turmoil at the top of the game sustains fan and sponsor interest. As one of football’s biggest brands, United should benefit.

Graft purges don’t hurt shareholders - insiders do

The sacking of China Resources’ chairman will worry other state company bosses. But shareholders in Chinese groups have less to fear from government crackdowns on powerful individuals than the culture of treating outside investors as an afterthought. This remains unaddressed.

Barrick's empire building deserves skeptical eye

The Canadian giant is reportedly considering a $33 bln deal with Newmont. Barrick’s outgoing chairman said “hubris” drove past deals. Ex-Goldmanite John Thornton, who takes the chair next month, faces a big hurdle in convincing shareholders this won’t be another value-destroyer.

Missing inflation could make Asian bonds frothier

Prices of goods in the region are rising more slowly than expected. Inflation drives bond yields up; a lack of it could send them downward, even though the U.S. Fed is threatening to edge up rates around the world. Asian debt is already pricey – it may get yet more expensive.