Quentin's Feed
Apr 16, 2015
via Breakingviews

Europe’s credit boom locks in mediocre returns

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

Credit investors are locking in mediocre returns. With official interest rates near zero, inflation moribund and defaults low, investors are throwing money at corporate Europe. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how this generosity could backfire.

Apr 16, 2015
via Breakingviews

Europe’s credit boom locks in mediocre returns

Photo

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

Credit investors are locking in mediocre returns. With official interest rates near zero, inflation moribund and defaults low, investors are throwing money at corporate Europe. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how this generosity could backfire.

Apr 15, 2015
via Breakingviews

Hairy deals mean European animal spirits returning

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A few hairy deals suggest a resurgence of animal spirits in the European boardroom. Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion-odd bid for BG and Nokia’s $17 billion move on rival Alcatel-Lucent are complex, if long-mooted, tie-ups finally coming to fruition. Last year’s $3.5 trillion merger boom was mostly an American affair. But if corporate bosses from London to Espoo to Turin are feeling this daring, Europe will soon account for its fair share.

Europe hasn’t been entirely devoid of bold deals in recent years. Think Glencore-Xstrata, the bloodied-but-unbowed Lafarge-Holcim, or transatlantic SNAFUs like Publicis-Omnicom. But the continent’s drawn-out crisis has kept many deals firmly in the pitch-books of investment bankers – until now.

Apr 15, 2015
via Breakingviews

Hairy deals mean European animal spirits returning

Photo

A few hairy deals suggest a resurgence of animal spirits in the European boardroom. Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion-odd bid for BG and Nokia’s $17 billion move on rival Alcatel-Lucent are complex, if long-mooted, tie-ups finally coming to fruition. Last year’s $3.5 trillion merger boom was mostly an American affair. But if corporate bosses from London to Espoo to Turin are feeling this daring, Europe will soon account for its fair share.

Europe hasn’t been entirely devoid of bold deals in recent years. Think Glencore-Xstrata, the bloodied-but-unbowed Lafarge-Holcim, or transatlantic SNAFUs like Publicis-Omnicom. But the continent’s drawn-out crisis has kept many deals firmly in the pitch-books of investment bankers – until now.

Apr 14, 2015
via Breakingviews

Nokia will struggle to cut through Alcatel tangle

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

Alcatel-Lucent makes a bold but messy takeover target for Nokia. A potential all-share deal would create a telecoms equipment giant worth roughly 40 billion euros. Nokia investors seem sceptical. That is understandable: a deal would spark another of the industry’s seemingly endless series of restructurings, while the French connection adds complexity.

Apr 14, 2015
via Breakingviews

Nokia will struggle to cut through Alcatel tangle

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

Alcatel-Lucent makes a bold but messy takeover target for Nokia. A potential all-share deal would create a telecoms equipment giant worth roughly 40 billion euros. Nokia investors seem sceptical. That is understandable: a deal would spark another of the industry’s seemingly endless series of restructurings, while the French connection adds complexity.

Apr 7, 2015
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FedEx bets $5 bln on Europe’s potential with TNT

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

FedEx is making a big opportunistic bet on Europe. The U.S. shipper has agreed to buy ailing Dutch rival TNT Express for 4.4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in a friendly, all-cash deal. That seems a full price for a troubled target – but cost savings, cheap debt and a strong dollar could help deliver good returns.

Mar 20, 2015
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Review: The lucrative and controversial Blair Inc

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

Politics has a problem in the era of the global billionaire. The challenge is illustrated by the business empire of Tony Blair – dubbed “Blair Inc” – in a timely new book by veteran reporters Francis Beckett, David Hencke and Nick Kochan.

Mar 13, 2015
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Holcim can push for more in Lafarge tie-up

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By Quentin Webb

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

Holcim can secure a better deal from Lafarge. The Swiss cement group is outrunning its French rival, creating cracks in their $44 billion tie-up. Deal failure would hurt both groups. So concessions are more likely than the premature end of this “merger of equals,” as happened with advertising powerhouses Publicis and Omnicom last year.

Mar 13, 2015
via Breakingviews

Holcim can push for more in Lafarge tie-up

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By Quentin Webb

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

Holcim can secure a better deal from Lafarge. The Swiss cement group is outrunning its French rival, creating cracks in their $44 billion tie-up. Deal failure would hurt both groups. So concessions are more likely than the premature end of this “merger of equals,” as happened with advertising powerhouses Publicis and Omnicom last year.

    • 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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