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Aug 24, 2011
via Breakingviews

Man U’s mooted IPO valuation in league of its own

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

LONDON — Manchester United’s flotation ambitions put it in a league of its own.

Jul 22, 2011
via Breakingviews

In all, News Corp’s papers could be worth $6 bln

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

LONDON — The Sun is Britain’s biggest newspaper, outselling its two tabloid rivals combined by 50 percent. Yet it might fetch less than 500 million pounds ($800 million), were Rupert Murdoch’s embattled News Corp to sell up. Add in The Times and the Sunday Times, and a deal might be struck for 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion). His entire newspaper empire, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and nearly 150 Australian titles, may be worth between $3 and 6 billion. The industry’s terrible economics, and the UK hacking scandal, both discourage M&A. But trophy buyers could emerge.

Jun 22, 2011

Foster’s needs to brew up standalone defence

By John Foley And Quentin Webb

HONG KONG, June 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – If SABMiller
goes hostile with its $12 bln approach, a winning counterbid for
the Australian brewer looks unlikely. Most other big rivals are
indebted or chasing racier markets. Foster’s needs a self-help
plan fast — to bag a higher offer, if not secure its
independence.

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Jun 13, 2011

M&A hopes are no reason to buy Nokia shares

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Companies that
deny they’re bid targets are normally protesting too much. Not
Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). It’s hard to see any kind of deal happening to
give shareholders in the troubled Finnish handset maker a boost

May 23, 2011

Jimmy Choo shows buyout firms can run in heels

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – The Jimmy Choo buyout is proof that private equity firms can run in heels. The luxury shoemaker’s backers have made a stellar return from their investment, in spite of buying the company at the height of the boom. Its new owners — Labelux, a vehicle for Germany’s billionaire Reimann family — may not be in for as fast a buck. But buying Jimmy Choo makes sense as a long-term bet on the Asian luxury market.

May 12, 2011

Takeda offers £7 billion for Swiss drugs firm

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – Japan’s largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is in talks to buy privately-held Swiss rival Nycomed for more than $12 billion (7.39 billion pounds) in a bid to extend its global reach into Europe and emerging markets, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The purchase would offer the mainly Asia and U.S-focussed maker of drugs for diabetes and heart disease access to a lung disease drug, Daxas, just approved in the United States, and a portfolio of over-the-counter consumer products.

May 12, 2011

Takeda seeks global reach with $12 billion Nycomed bid

TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) – Japan’s largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is in talks to buy privately-held Swiss rival Nycomed for more than $12 billion in a bid to extend its global reach into Europe and emerging markets, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The purchase would offer the mainly Asia and U.S-focused maker of drugs for diabetes and heart disease access to a lung disease drug, Daxas, just approved in the United States, and a portfolio of over-the-counter consumer products.

May 11, 2011

Buyout giants vie for Securitas Direct: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Major private equity firms, including The Carlyle Group CYL.UL, Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and Bain Capital, are vying for Securitas Direct, the $3 billion-plus alarm firm, people familiar with the matter said.

The trio are among at least seven buyout firms submitting indicative bids this week to EQT, the Swedish private equity firm backed by Sweden’s Wallenberg family that took Securitas Direct private three years ago.

May 10, 2011

Microsoft snubs banks for $8.5 billion Skype takeover

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Microsoft snubbed investment banks for its largest deal ever, saving an estimated $25 million to $30 million by not using an adviser on the $8.5 billion takeover of Internet phone service Skype.

Skype’s advisers, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, will split about $30 million to $35 million in fees, according to Freeman Consulting. Goldman Sachs declined to comment. JPMorgan was not immediately available to comment.

May 9, 2011

“Wave to pay” chipmaker hires IPO banks – sources

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – Inside Secure, the chipmaker
hoping to benefit from a boom in technology that allows shoppers
to buy goods with the wave of a smartphone, has hired two banks
for a Paris flotation, people familiar with the matter said.

The French company, which specialises in so-called
“near-field communications”, has hired BNP Paribas and Jefferies
to prepare for an initial public share offer, the people said.

    • 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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