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Apr 27, 2012
via Breakingviews

Shareholder rage at bank pay reaches tipping point


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

Bank investors’ anger at bank pay is boiling over. Less than two weeks after a third of Citigroup shareholders threw the company’s remuneration report back in its face, shareholders at Barclays and Credit Suisse have done exactly the same. Reforms that now flow from what is a genuine “shareholder spring” could be far reaching.

Apr 26, 2012

Deutsche and Barclays’ fortunes could yet converge

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By George Hay and Peter Thal Larsen

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) – When Germans take
on Brits at soccer, the Germans tend to win. Not so for the
countries’ largest investment banks in the first quarter of the
year. Yet Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and Barclays’ (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
fortunes could yet converge.

Apr 23, 2012

Judge fast-tracks Icahn lawsuit against Amylin

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Carl Icahn won a victory in his push for a sale of diabetes drug maker Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc (AMLN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) after a Delaware judge fast-tracked the billionaire investor’s lawsuit to allow a proxy fight.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge John Noble scheduled a May 10 hearing to consider Icahn’s request to delay Amylin’s annual meeting, scheduled for five days later.

Apr 20, 2012

$130 mln antique-stock claim against Coke fizzles

WILMINGTON, Del, April 20 (Reuters) – A 1917 stock
certificate picked up at an estate sale that the owners had
claimed was worth $130 million in shares of The Coca-Cola Co
may actually be worth a lot less.

The family of Tony Marohn, who bought the Palmer Union Oil
Co stock certificate in 2008 for a few dollars, had said they
were owed 1.8 million shares of Coca-Cola. But on Wednesday, one
of their lawyers, David Margules, told a Delaware judge that due
to previously unnoticed reverse stock splits, the stock was
worth $12,000 to $15,000, a court transcript showed.

Apr 14, 2012

Dodgers sale and plan to exit bankruptcy approved

/LOS ANGELES, April 13 (Reuters) – The Los
Angeles Dodgers’ sale to a group led by basketball legend Earvin
“Magic” Johnson for $2.1 billion and the Major League Baseball
team’s plan to exit Chapter 11 this month were approved by a
U.S. bankruptcy judge on Friday.

The approval was needed by midnight to allow the team to
exit bankruptcy by April 30 and provide the cash for outgoing
owner Frank McCourt to meet a deadline for paying his ex-wife
Jamie McCourt about $130 million.

Apr 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

Lloyds forced disposals inch towards quasi-auction


By George Hay

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

Lloyds Banking Group’s enforced branch sale is no longer a one-horse race. Back in December, the UK bank entered into exclusive talks with the Co-operative Group to sell 632 branches it was ordered to offload by the European Commission before 2014. A new offer from start-up rival NBNK probably doesn’t kickstart a hot bidding war. But it’s still good for Lloyds.

Apr 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

Greece’s battle to save its banks gets creative


By George Hay

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

Greek banks are still lying under their Sword of Damocles. The Greek government and its euro zone rescuers are set to reveal how much capital the state’s lenders need to deal with the recent haircut on Greek sovereign debt, with estimates extending up to 50 billion euros. A 21 percent jump in Greek bank share prices on April 10 reflects hope that financial engineering could yet cut the final bill.

Apr 9, 2012

Martin Marietta-Vulcan dispute a ‘hall of mirrors’: judge

WILMINGTON, Del, April 9 (Reuters) – The legal fight over
Martin Marietta Materials Inc’s $5.4 billion hostile bid
for Vulcan Materials Co “is a hall of mirrors,” the
Delaware judge overseeing the dispute said on Monday.

He added he is unlikely to rule immediately on whether the
hostile bid can proceed.

Apr 5, 2012

Garage sale find: $130 million in Coke stock?

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – George Soros and John Paulson may have to make room for the late Tony Marohn, who possibly pulled off one of the greatest financial trades ever — at an estate sale.

Marohn’s family claims it is owed a $130 million stake in Coca-Cola Co after Marohn bought an antique Palmer Union Oil Co stock certificate in 2008 for a “nominal amount,” Marohn family attorney David Margules said on Thursday.

Apr 4, 2012

Quest seeks sale to avoid scrutiny, lawsuit claims

April 4 (Reuters) – Quest Software Inc’s new chief
executive rushed to sell the company to head off a possible
investigation by regulators, according to a shareholder lawsuit
that shines a light on the technology company’s accounting.

The lawsuit claims the maker of backup software agreed to
sell itself to private equity firm Insight Venture Partners for
$2 billion in cash after a year of maneuvers to undermine
Quest’s value and set up a merger that enriches the CEO.

    • 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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