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Mar 27, 2013
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Potemkin Dell fight would have optical merits

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

Even losers could emerge as winners from the Dell takeover battle. Blackstone Group, Silver Lake Partners, the Dell board and founder Michael Dell could stand to benefit from the impression of a hard-fought auction. A Potemkin fight, if that’s what it turns out to be, just may not help shareholders quite so much.

Mar 20, 2013
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Optimism over M&A may be deserved – at a discount

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

 

M&A bankers and lawyers telling a PR firm that specializes in deals they expect to see more merger activity makes for sweet echo-chamber music. The survey released by Brunswick Group to coincide with an annual U.S. dealmaker powwow found three out of four practitioners expecting more M&A globally this year than last. They’re more bullish than ever about North America, with 97 percent anticipating growth in the region. A discount needs to be applied to all the optimism.

Mar 7, 2013
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A brief history of Time: an epic M&A tale

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb
Thea author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The brief history of Time is a truly epic M&A tale. The gold standard of U.S. magazine publishing proved the ultimate foundation for a giant media conglomerate. Time Warner’s decision on Wednesday to spin off the legacy of Henry Luce’s 1920s vision represents the last step in dismantling the empire.

Feb 22, 2013

Apple owners don’t need consumer-like innovation

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

NEW YORK, Feb 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – David Einhorn has
done his best to channel Steve Jobs. A one-hour pitch on
Thursday by the U.S. hedge fund manager enlisted the late Apple
(AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) founder’s own value propositions and presentation
tactics to try and sell the idea of a new class of preferred
stock for the gadget maker. It’s just not obvious Apple owners
will embrace the same kind of innovation consumers do.

Feb 14, 2013
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M&A advisers get a lot of Valentine’s Day love

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

Cupid emptied his quiver in Wall Street’s direction on Thursday. Over $36 billion of corporate affection, in the form of mergers and takeovers, was announced this Valentine’s Day. Two transactions alone, the buyout of H.J. Heinz by private equity firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and the union of American Airlines parent AMR and US Airways, required the services of two dozen banks and law firms. Hearts must be racing for M&A advisers everywhere.

Feb 13, 2013
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Comcast ad-libs on winning NBC Universal script

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

Comcast has smartly ad-libbed on an already winning script. Back in 2009, the U.S. cable operator engineered a complex, multi-step deal with General Electric to buy NBC Universal. It has now smoothly accelerated and slightly rejigged the acquisition of the 49 percent of the TV and film group it doesn’t own for $16.7 billion. With the financial side of things now sorted, Comcast boss Brian Roberts must prove he’s the right owner.

Feb 6, 2013
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The unsexiest media company alive: Time Warner

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

Time Warner deserves the top spot in one of its glossy weeklies as the unsexiest media company alive. In five years under Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, the owner of Warner Brothers, HBO and People magazine has delivered investors a 70 percent return, keeping pace with its wheeling and dealing media rivals. The longer-term question is whether Bewkes can continue to make boring beautiful.

Jan 25, 2013
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Ackman vs Icahn is an epic but pointless battle

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

William Ackman squaring off against Carl Icahn is an epic battle, but ultimately a pointless one. A decade-long personal feud between the New York billionaires erupted into public view again. Though it’s emblematic of their approach to investing and escapist fun for the financial community, the two men do play important roles in the markets. Their aggressions are better directed at supine boards than each other.

Jan 8, 2013
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Big-shot banker class of 2012 gets back to work

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

Wall Street churned out an unusually large group of big-shot bankers last year. One of them, Jes Staley, may offer a glimpse into what the market holds in store. JPMorgan’s former investment banking chief is joining hedge fund BlueMountain Capital. It’s not the top job at Barclays, a role Staley looked at, but it’s also a potentially less stressful but lucrative role. The Class of 2012 that includes Bob Diamond and Vikram Pandit may find power and glory similarly elusive.

Jan 8, 2013

Breakingviews-Big-shot banker class of 2012 gets back to work

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

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Wall Street
churned out an unusually large group of big-shot bankers last
year. One of them, Jes Staley, may offer a glimpse into what the
market holds in store. JPMorgan’s (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) former investment
banking chief is joining hedge fund BlueMountain Capital. It’s
not the top job at Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research), a role Staley looked at,
but it’s also a potentially less stressful but lucrative role.
The Class of 2012 that includes Bob Diamond and Vikram Pandit
may find power and glory similarly elusive.