George's Feed
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.

Mar 23, 2012

Navistar, others retreat from Delaware lawsuit rule

March 23 (Reuters) – Navistar International Corp has
become the latest company to abandon plans to require its
shareholders to bring any legal action against it exclusively in
Delaware, after legal challenges and opposition from investor
advisory groups.

At least four other companies also have deleted similar
requirements from their corporate bylaws since they were among
the dozen companies sued over the provision in February.

Mar 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

EU eases insurers’ worst capital fears – for now


By George Hay

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

For the first time in a month, UK insurers’ pulses are slowing down. On March 21 the European Parliament signed amendments to the EU’s new Solvency II legislation, which in February looked set to deal them a nasty blow. But insurers – and pension providers – can’t yet afford to breathe easily.

Mar 19, 2012

Lawsuit against Berkshire over Sokol affair dismissed

, March 19 (Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway
won dismissal on Monday of a shareholder lawsuit that
stemmed from allegations former executive David Sokol profited
by violating the company’s insider trading policy.

Shareholders sued the conglomerate’s board for refusing to
take legal action against Sokol, a former heir apparent at

    • 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"
    • Follow George