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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
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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 2, 2015
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French telco buyout shows dealmaker in a hurry

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By Quentin Webb

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

Patrick Drahi is in a hurry. The telecoms magnate has persuaded fellow French billionaire Vincent Bolloré to sell Vivendi’s residual 20 percent stake in Numericable-SFR for 3.9 billion euros. The deal comes just three months after Numericable, then a Drahi-owned cable group, bought SFR after a hot auction. It foreshadows further consolidation in French telecoms – and possibly more M&A by Vivendi.

Mar 2, 2015
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French telco buyout shows dealmaker in a hurry

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By Quentin Webb

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

Patrick Drahi is in a hurry. The telecoms magnate has persuaded fellow French billionaire Vincent Bolloré to sell Vivendi’s residual 20 percent stake in Numericable-SFR for 3.9 billion euros. The deal comes just three months after Numericable, then a Drahi-owned cable group, bought SFR after a hot auction. It foreshadows further consolidation in French telecoms – and possibly more M&A by Vivendi.

Feb 25, 2015
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Feb 24, 2015
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Hitachi’s $2 bln deal signals Italy open for M&A

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By Quentin Webb

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

Hitachi’s $2.2 billion deal signals that Italy is open for M&A. The bullet-train maker has agreed to buy Finmeccanica’s rail units. In Italy, and across continental Europe, sales of high-end industrial assets to Far Eastern investors can be controversial. But Hitachi is a credible buyer offering a full price. It helps that the seller is keen to restructure and has sought these divestments for years.

Feb 16, 2015
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Michele Ferrero leaves $25 bln-plus Nutella empire

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By Quentin Webb

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

Michele Ferrero leaves a $25 billion-plus empire. The confectioner, who has died at 89, had a gift for creating and marketing treats, building Italy’s biggest fortune from nutty spread, Kinder Eggs and Tic Tacs. Stock markets and deals were both anathema. Rivals will hope his heirs tire of independence.

Feb 16, 2015
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Michele Ferrero leaves $25 bln-plus Nutella empire

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By Quentin Webb

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

Michele Ferrero leaves a $25 billion-plus empire. The confectioner, who has died at 89, had a gift for creating and marketing treats, building Italy’s biggest fortune from nutty spread, Kinder Eggs and Tic Tacs. Stock markets and deals were both anathema. Rivals will hope his heirs tire of independence.

Feb 11, 2015
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Sky’s insecurity helps Premier League net $8 bln

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By Quentin Webb

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

Sky’s insecurity has helped the Premier League net 5.1 billion pounds. With the pay-TV giant afraid to test what would happen if it lost its first place in English soccer, the big winners are the clubs.

    • 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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