Jeffrey's Feed
Oct 27, 2014
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Chiquita inversion slips on cash appeal

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Chiquita shareholders got yellow and chose green. They voted down a stock deal to acquire Irish produce distributor Fyffes, a decision that led the U.S. banana company on Monday to agree to sell to Brazilian buyers for about $680 million in cash instead. Ailing arbitrageurs, a revolt against tax-driven mergers and global economic ructions all led to the path of least uncertainty.

Oct 16, 2014
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Netflix stock horror follows familiar script

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Netflix is sticking to the script. The film and TV streaming service lost $7 billion of market value in after-hours trading on Wednesday following news that it had signed up fewer new subscribers last quarter than originally forecast. Even for one of the most-shorted and volatile stocks, a 25 percent decline is notable. And yet investors have seen this movie before.

Oct 10, 2014
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Blackstone sale may kick off next deal trend

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

It’s the end of the beginning for Blackstone. The M&A advice business that Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson used as a cornerstone to build their buyout firm three decades ago is being offloaded. Merging it with a fledgling shop run by former Morgan Stanley investment banking chief Paul Taubman potentially heralds the start of something else. The rise in global mergers could spawn a super-boutique or even entice a big bank to buy an indie firm.

Oct 8, 2014
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A creative NFL would lean in to Sheryl Sandberg as commissioner

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

The latest uproar over the National Football League may have died down, but team owners convening this week are fooling themselves if they think the backlash is over – or that Commissioner Roger Goodell won’t bungle the next big controversy that comes along. An unconventional idea for a replacement is Facebook No. 2 Sheryl Sandberg.

Oct 1, 2014
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Goldman’s new conflict rules raise bigger question

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Another day, another conflict of interest situation for Goldman Sachs. New internal rules at the securities firm impose fresh limits on bankers investing in specific stocks, bonds and hedge funds. Goldman knows too well how easy it is to cross a line when treading at its edge. The new policy raises a bigger question, though: Why are Wall Street dealmakers allowed to own individual securities at all?

Sep 19, 2014
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NFL only understands hits where they really hurt

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

The National Football League has thrown its weight around to grow into a $10 billion entertainment colossus, and already has its sights firmly set on doubling. It is swiftly becoming apparent just how many victims of the sport’s violence routinely get trampled by this gladiatorial march toward greater lucre. Only the moral compasses of sponsors and television partners have a commanding enough offense to reform this uniquely American athletic institution.

Sep 16, 2014
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Henry Kravis spins a different kind of club deal

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Henry Kravis is spinning a different sort of club deal. The old kind, in which several private equity shops would make an acquisition together, led the buyout baron’s KKR to join the recent hefty settlement of a lawsuit that alleged collusion with other firms. In the new iteration, KKR buys Pioneer’s DJ audio equipment business for $550 million. Kravis is laying down a smooth groove in a funky M&A market.

Sep 5, 2014
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Anarchical Vice Media makes orthodoxy a virtue

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Vice Media likes to seem anarchic, but it is making a virtue of some industry orthodoxies. The Brooklyn-based bad boy of news and entertainment is now valued at $2.5 billion. The sources of Vice’s money and the way it was raised, though, suggest old-school traits alongside the iconoclasm.

A gonzo style of journalism has enabled Vice to get younger people interested in global current events. The draws include stunts such as dispatching retired basketball misfit Dennis Rodman to North Korea as well as documentary-format reports on Ukraine and Syria. Vice’s fashion site includes headlines like “This stab-proof clothing aims to keep Medellin safe,” while its foodie endeavor explains how “Gaza’s Christians are brewing illegal wine in defiance of Hamas.”

Aug 20, 2014
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Ballmer’s exit value is now Nadella’s to preserve

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Steve Ballmer’s exit value is now Satya Nadella’s to preserve. Microsoft’s market capitalization swelled by over $100 billion from the day about a year ago when the 34-year veteran of the software giant said he would resign as chief executive until Tuesday, when he stepped down from the board of directors. With Ballmer fading from the picture, maintaining the momentum is now firmly up to new boss Nadella.

Aug 8, 2014
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Behold the unversion: an inversion in all but name

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Behold the unversion. U.S.-based data protection firm SafeNet may very well be able to slash its tax rate as part of a cross-border deal. Instead of doing so by acquiring an overseas company – a move known as an inversion – it is selling itself for $890 million to Dutch digital security outfit Gemalto. The deal shows the limitations of a possible U.S. government ban on inversions.