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Jun 25, 2012
via Breakingviews

Monte dei Paschi faces its moment of truth


By George Hay

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

The citizens of Siena are used to white knuckle rides. On July 2 each year, the medieval Tuscan town hosts the Palio, a world-renowned horse race in which 10 brightly coloured jockeys and their mounts thunder three times round the central Piazza del Campo. But this year, the really gripping action will take place a week earlier, up the road at the Palazzo Salimbeni. And it will involve the local bank.

Jun 21, 2012

Sale of RG Steel mills extended by up to 4 weeks

WILMINGTON, Del, June 21 (Reuters) – RG Steel will have up
to four extra weeks to find a buyer for its three mills after
unsecured creditors objected to the bankrupt steelmaker’s
original auction schedule as a rushed fire sale.

The extended schedule, which could push the auction of the
mills to Aug. 21, came after hours of negotiations between the
company and its creditors and lenders on Thursday.

Jun 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

Chris Hohn’s Lloyds plan isn’t pure self-interest


By George Hay

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

Hedge fund managers are not known for their altruism. So when Chris Hohn offers free advice to the UK regulator about Lloyds Banking Group, there’s a fair chance the activist investor is talking his own book. But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

Jun 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

UK banks’ euro zone firewall needs government help


By George Hay

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

UK banks’ euro zone firewall needs strengthening. Despite a range of support measures introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, the Bank of England’s arsenal for managing a pan-European liquidity freeze looks underpowered when compared with the European Central Bank’s three-year loans. But if the euro zone cracks, UK lenders would be better off turning to the government for support.

Jun 11, 2012

Allergan suit proceeds, to impact derivative cases

June 11 (Reuters) – Directors of Allergan Inc must
face a lawsuit over $600 million in fines the company paid for
misbranding its Botox treatment to smooth out wrinkles, a
Delaware judge ruled, in a decision that could affect securities
litigation in that state.

The opinion by Chancery Court Judge Travis Laster could make
it easier for shareholders to bring lawsuits on behalf of
companies in Delaware, a state traditionally seen as friendly
for corporate defendants.

Jun 7, 2012

Southern Copper argues to overturn $2 bln judgment

June 7 (Reuters) – A $2.03 billion judgment in a lawsuit
brought by shareholders of Southern Copper Corp should be
overturned because a key witness from deal adviser Goldman Sachs
Group Inc was excluded from the trial, lawyers
challenging the ruling argued in Delaware’s Supreme Court on

The judgment was awarded by Delaware Chancery Court Judge
Leo Strine in October 2011 in a case brought by investors who
accused Southern Copper of overpaying in the 2005
takeover of privately held Minera Mexico.

Jun 7, 2012

Tribune seen nearing bankruptcy conclusion

, June 7 (Reuters) – Tribune Co’s long
bankruptcy entered what is expected to be the final stage on
Thursday, although the media company still faces months of
regulatory clearances to transfer broadcast licenses to new

The owner of 23 television stations and publisher of the
Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times asked a Delaware
bankruptcy court to approve a reorganization plan to pay off
creditors. The company failed a year ago in an attempt to end
its Chapter 11 case because of creditor disputes, but this time
success appears much more likely.

May 31, 2012

Martin Marietta loses appeal of Vulcan bid ruling

, May 31 (Reuters) – Martin Marietta Materials
Inc lost its appeal to overturn a court order that
halted its $4.5 billion hostile bid and proxy contest for rival
Vulcan Materials Inc.

Delaware’s Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a ruling by
the state’s Court of Chancery, which prevented Martin Marietta
from seeking to elect four nominees to Vulcan’s board at
Friday’s meeting of Vulcan shareholders.

May 30, 2012

Delaware struggles to sustain its MERS lawsuit

WILMINGTON, Del, May 30 (Reuters) – Attorneys for the state
of Delaware struggled at a court hearing on Wednesday to keep
alive a closely watched lawsuit against MERS, the electronic
mortgage registry accused of abuses in housing foreclosures.

The state’s lawsuit, announced at press conference in
October, is seen as a test case for addressing concerns that
homes were being seized from defaulted borrowers without
following proper procedures.

May 30, 2012

Martin Marietta’s Vulcan appeal seen as long shot

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – Martin Marietta Materials Inc (MLM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may have little chance for success when it goes to Delaware’s Supreme Court on Thursday for what could be a last-gasp attempt to revive its $4.5 billion hostile bid for Vulcan Materials Co (VMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Martin Marietta, which wants to complete the deal to become the world’s biggest producer of sand, gravel and other construction materials, hopes to reverse a ruling made earlier this month by Delaware’s Court of Chancery. In that decision, Judge Leo Strine blocked the company from pursuing the hostile bid and a proxy contest for four months as punishment for violating confidentiality agreements with Vulcan.

    • About George

      "George Hay coordinates European financial coverage and writes about macroeconomics, the euro zone and UK/European financial policy. He covered European banks for Breakingviews during the financial crisis, and has also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and at United Business Media. He attended Edinburgh University and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay"
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