Felix Salmon

What would JP Morgan do with Arminio Fraga?

June 21, 2010

Citigroup famously paid $800 million for a young and doomed hedge fund, Old Lane, just so that it could hire its founder, Vikram Pandit. No one thinks that decision was a good one, in hindsight. But JP Morgan is setting its sights rather higher, looking to buy Gávea Investimentos, along with (one presumes) its founder, Arminio Fraga.

Acquiring companies with stock

January 27, 2010

John Gapper and Nadav Manham have both picked up on Warren Buffett’s explanation of how he thinks about M&A, especially when a company is paying with stock:

Felix Salmon egg-on-face datapoint of the day

October 14, 2009

So, that happened. Guess I was wrong about this. But if you’re never wrong, you’re never interesting, nicht wahr?

Mint gets eaten by the Borg

September 14, 2009

Intuit is buying Mint.com for a whopping $170 million. That’s a lot of money for a company which has yet to make a dollar in profit — indeed, it found itself in need of an extra $14 million in equity capital only last month.

Where the efficient markets hypothesis never took hold

September 8, 2009

In the wake of Justin’s book and Cadbury’s rejection of Kraft’s takeover offer, it’s probably worth noting that the one place the efficient markets hypothesis never took hold was in corporate boardrooms. It’s commonplace for boards to say that offers significantly above the stock-market valuation “significantly undervalue the company”, or somesuch — with the clear implication that the market is not rational at all. At least when it’s your own company on the line.

Friendliness isn’t insider trading

September 5, 2009

Joe Nocera this week looks at eBay’s sale of Skype, and wonders who would pay $2 billion for a company with a massive lawsuit hanging over its head. With apologies for quoting at some length, here’s the nub of Nocera’s thesis:

Consider both backs scratched

July 10, 2009

Jimmy Lee on Rupert Murdoch, after the successful acquisition of Dow Jones:

James B. Lee of JPMorgan Chase & Company, who has represented clients in some of the biggest deals in history, said of Mr. Murdoch, “nobody else I have ever banked could have pulled it off.”

Revisiting the Merrill acquisition

June 11, 2009

All eyes are on Ken Lewis today: he’ll be testifying to Congress, and, according to the Reuters news planning email this morning, “Lewis is a fiery character and we will be looking for any departure from his script.”