Quentin's Feed
Dec 22, 2014

Breakingviews: Wall St’s $18 bln poker game has more rounds to go

By Quentin Webb

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – The ill-fated 2008 buyout
of Caesars has pitted plenty of high finance’s high rollers
against one another. Despite a couple of breakthroughs, Wall
Street’s poker game over the casino group isn’t quite over.

Things are moving fast. On Friday a steering committee of
senior bondholders gave its backing to a restructuring that
would slash some $10 billion of debt from Caesars Operating Co
(CEOC), the empire’s biggest unit. The division would be split
into an operating and a property company, the firm said. Then on
Monday, CEOC’s parent, publicly traded Caesars Entertainment Co
(CEC), bought another affiliate, Caesars Acquisition Co
, for $1.2 billion. Among other things, the company said
that deal would help fund CEOC’s restructuring.

Dec 16, 2014
via Breakingviews

European telecoms will dial up more deals

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By Quentin Webb

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

European telecoms will dial up more deals in 2015. With M&A sweeping the sector, BT’s mobile ambitions mean Britain is up next, and tie-ups could follow elsewhere.

Dec 12, 2014
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Binding Staples to Office Depot only easy on paper

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By Quentin Webb

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

A potential $13 billion merger of Staples and Office Depot looks great – on paper, at least. Activist investor Starboard has taken big stakes in each of America’s two remaining large office supply chains and, according to CNBC, wants to bind the two together.

Dec 4, 2014
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Cramer’s mad money: fair game for fellow blowhard

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By Quentin Webb

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

It’s a clash of Wall Street troublemakers: the biggest character in financial TV versus a poison-pen activist investor. The mad money Jim Cramer collects from TheStreet is, however, fair game for his fellow blowhard. Carlo Cannell wants Cramer, a CNBC stockpicker as well as founder of TheStreet, to help spur a sale of the company or take a big pay cut and quit TV.

Dec 1, 2014
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If Vodafone wants Liberty it has to get creative

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By Quentin Webb

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

Deals beget deals, as the cliche has it, but still: BT eyes a $15 billion takeover in UK mobile and Vodafone’s measured reaction is to plot a bid for European’s largest cable group, Liberty Global, worth $90 billion? That’s a strategically ambitious way for Vodafone to counter a new threat to its domestic wireless business. The financial logic is harder to see.

Nov 24, 2014
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BT is in strong position for mobile M&A

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By Quentin Webb

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

BT is in a strong position for mobile M&A. It has shaken up UK communications by moving into television and by preparing to launch a novel mobile service of its own. Now the fixed-line giant finds itself with a choice of two wireless networks to buy, Telefonica’s O2 unit or Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s EE. There are few likely counter-bidders for either potential target.

Nov 6, 2014
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Cable M&A wave washes over the Caribbean

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By Quentin Webb

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

The cable M&A wave has hit the Caribbean. London-listed Cable & Wireless Communications will buy private cable group Columbus International for $3 billion including debt. With this deal, CWC aims to become the region’s top “quad-play” operator, selling mobile, landline, television and broadband together. The deal is pricey, unexpected, oddly structured and brave. But as in several European deals, the potential to cut costs and grow faster might offset these concerns.

Nov 5, 2014
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Carlyle buys a shovel-maker for deal gold rush

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By Quentin Webb

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

In a gold rush, it pays to sell the shovels. Carlyle, the U.S.-based private equity firm, is teaming up with British publisher Euromoney to test the adage for the modern era. With stock sales, debt issuance and M&A booming, they’re acquiring Dealogic, a seller of financial data, for $700 million.

Nov 3, 2014
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Publicis overpays with $3.7 bln digital takeover

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By Quentin Webb

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

Publicis is overpaying for a digital reboot. Performance is faltering at the French advertising giant after a failed transatlantic merger. The $3.7 billion purchase of U.S. group Sapient looks like a pricey distraction.

Oct 20, 2014
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Nutreco’s $3 bln buyout shows value of food chain

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By Quentin Webb

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

A $3.4 billion buyout of Nutreco highlights the value in the food chain. A wealthy Dutch family is planning to gobble up the Amsterdam-listed animal and fish-feed specialist. With no financial overlap, this looks like a long-term bet on the world’s growing hunger for protein.

    • About Quentin

      "Quentin Webb is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist, covering mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. He is based in London. Before becoming a columnist, he was a news reporter for Reuters, where he was most recently European M&A correspondent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Brussels and as a credit-markets reporter. He joined Reuters in 2003 from Legalease, a legal publisher. He has a first-class degree in psychology from University College London."
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