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Sep 20, 2012
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BSkyB should start to build in new bid premium

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

BSkyB shares should start to reflect the chance of a second bid from News Corp. Ofcom, the UK media watchdog, has confirmed that Rupert Murdoch’s media group is a suitable lead shareholder in the satellite broadcaster despite the phone-hacking scandal in News Corp’s UK newspaper business. The clarification removes a potential obstacle to it taking full control of the business.

Sep 17, 2012
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Key ingredient missing for M&A revival

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By Christopher Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Cheap money. Tick. Stable equity markets. Tick. Revenue pressure. Tick. Ideal conditions for a boom in mergers and acquisitions, surely? Spirits seem to be stirring in Europe, of all places, with BAE’s attempted union with defence peer EADS and Glencore’s heated pursuit of fellow miner Xstrata, while August generated a handful of multi-billion dollar U.S. deals. But not all the ingredients are in place to cook up a deal feast.

Jul 27, 2012
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Olympics feel good value, even if they aren’t

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By Chris Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.


Olympic sentiment in the UK has undergone a sudden reversal. With the London Games opening on July 27, Britons have stopped moaning about recent bungles. The media, sensing the public mood, has swung squarely behind the occasion. Whatever goes wrong, Olympic investment is likely to feel like it was worth it – even if the finances argue otherwise.

Jul 16, 2012
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New broom wouldn’t be quick fix for G4S

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

G4S has got one thing right in its response to the Olympics security fiasco: it has admitted that Chief Executive Nick Buckles may have to quit. That may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition of the company’s recovery.

Jul 5, 2012
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Diamond should exit Barclays with decorum not cash

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By Christopher Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bob Diamond should exit Barclays with decorum, not with a sack of cash. On the most generous interpretation of his entitlements, the UK bank’s ex-chief executive has left behind almost 30 million pounds. But Diamond’s long-term financial interest would be served best by leaving empty handed.

Jun 21, 2012
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UK exec pay reforms set sound standards

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By Christopher Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK government has decided on just the right amount of meddling in executive pay. It had to respond to mounting public disquiet about perceived outsize awards for company bosses. Its final reforms on the issue, published on June 20, correctly focus on giving company owners more power to hold boards to account.

Jun 19, 2012
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Xstrata shareholders should say no

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Xstrata shareholders should vote down the $45 million three-year retention package awarded to Chief Executive Mick Davis to seal the miner’s tie-up with commodity trader Glencore. Sure, the merger would collapse, but that’s a price worth paying.

Jun 13, 2012

Memo to Sorrell: think like an owner

(Adds Context News) (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews
columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The market has
spoken. Almost 99 percent of WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders want
Martin Sorrell to stay as the advertising group’s chief
executive and nearly 60 percent think he is overpaid. Sorrell is
a big shareholder too. He says his interest in the company
guides his behaviour as the firm’s top executive. If that’s
true, he will see the financial logic in performing a U-turn on
his vigorous defence of his 13-million-pound pay package in
2011.

Jun 13, 2012

Memo to Sorrell: think like an owner

(Adds Context News) (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews
columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The market has
spoken. Almost 99 percent of WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders want
Martin Sorrell to stay as the advertising group’s chief
executive and nearly 60 percent think he is overpaid. Sorrell is
a big shareholder too. He says his interest in the company
guides his behaviour as the firm’s top executive. If that’s
true, he will see the financial logic in performing a U-turn on
his vigorous defence of his 13-million-pound pay package in
2011.

Jun 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

UK bosses play dangerous game: pay me or fire me

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By Christopher Hughes 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The O-word is causing friction between UK bosses and shareholders. Martin Sorrell says he was wounded by a shareholder who said the chief executive of advertising group WPP he had been behaving “as an owner”. Ivan Glasenberg, Sorrell’s counterpart at commodity trader Glencore, has come to his aid, saying it is hard to get a CEO to be entrepreneurial if they didn’t own a lot of stock.

    • About Chris

      "Chris Hughes is EMEA Editor of Reuters Breakingviews. Chris started his career as a researcher in BBC Television’s documentaries department and then became a financial journalist. He was previously Investment Banking Correspondent and Senior Corporate Reporter at the Financial Times, Financial Editor of The Independent and a companies writer at the Investors Chronicle. Chris has also worked at communications consultancy Financial Dynamics (now FTI), as an Associate Partner."
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