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.

Pfizer-Allergan to throw down tax-reform gauntlet

November 23, 2015

The drug firms are shrugging off Uncle Sam’s latest attempt to prevent mergers predicated on relocating to low-tax jurisdictions. The largest-ever inversion, at some $150 bln, ought to raise pressure on lawmakers to find more comprehensive fixes to the great M&A tax dodge.

Investors get too comfy over US-euro divergence

November 19, 2015

Twin the prospect of higher U.S. policy rates with the chance of more euro zone easing and the result is eye-catching divergences in currency and interest rate markets. The problem is, such price trends are vulnerable to setbacks even if rate-setters do what’s expected of them.

Public investors lasso Square to tame the unicorns

November 19, 2015

Jack Dorsey’s payments firm has priced below its indicated range and at less than half the value of its last funding round. A two-timing CEO, rising competition and losses provided ammunition for old-school mutual fund managers demanding big discounts to lofty private valuations.

Air Liquide’s bid for Airgas leaves value vacuum

November 18, 2015

The French gas company’s $13.4 billion acquisition melds two complementary businesses – the larger Air Liquide supplies mainly big customers; its U.S. rival serves smaller outfits. Yet unless the buyer can superheat the synergies, the deal will leave its shareholders worse off.

Dixon: Syrian peace process offers hope post-Paris

By Hugo Dixon
November 16, 2015

After the attacks, outside powers called for a ceasefire followed by a political transition. A big obstacle is that Russia and America don’t agree on what should happen to Assad. But it’s the best chance to end the war, crush Islamic State and solve the refugee crisis.

Legal eagles earn a higher corporate pay perch

November 12, 2015

Compensation for S&P 500 general counsels is up almost 23 pct since 2010, a sharper rise than for CEOs and CFOs. It’s a sign that companies are choosing to handle more big deals, lawsuits and regulatory issues in-house. Outside law firms should brace for a steeper dive in demand.

Molson gets tasty chaser in giant beer deal

November 11, 2015

The Coors owner is paying SABMiller $12 bln for its 58 pct stake in their U.S. venture. By helping ease antitrust pressure on the UK-listed brewer’s $105 bln sale to AB InBev, Molson avoids a premium. Some $200 mln of annual cost savings, plus a sizeable tax perk, are pure gold.

Tech crunched between clashing U.S.-EU privacy law

November 10, 2015

Facebook got dinged in Belgium for secretly tracking visitors, while Spokeo’s similarly nosy conduct will probably go unpunished in America. Yet in neither case could victims prove they were harmed. The disparate outcomes highlight the need for more uniform data-gathering rules.

IEA history lesson makes $100 oil more likely

November 10, 2015

The Paris-based International Energy Agency says the world’s reliance on low-cost Middle East oil could return to 1970s levels. By cutting capex, oil majors are bolstering that dependence. Supply squeezes could feed through to higher crude sooner rather than later.