Quentin's Feed
Apr 5, 2011

Oil, mining M&A: Beware the politics

LONDON (Reuters) – Big mining and oil firms and their advisers need to become more shrewd to get deals through an increasingly tough political landscape, which could spur more tie-ups with state-backed firms, senior bankers say.

BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (BHP.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest miner, has ditched three major deals in as many years, including its $39 billion bid for top global fertilizer maker Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), in the face of resistance from politicians, competition watchdogs, and others.

Apr 4, 2011

Reuters Summit – Boards play safe as new M&A cycle begins

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A nascent recovery in global dealmaking, focused on safer deals with clear strategic logic, probably marks the start of several years of rising mergers and acquisitions, senior dealmakers said on Monday.

While company earnings and balance sheets are strong, economic fragility, natural disaster, and political tumult in the Arab world are hurting corporate confidence and may hold back a more robust recovery in dealmaking, bankers said at the Reuters Global Mergers and Acquisitions Summit.

Apr 4, 2011

Boards play it safe as new M&A cycle begins

LONDON (Reuters) – A nascent recovery in global dealmaking, focused on safer deals with clear strategic logic, probably marks the start of several years of rising mergers and acquisitions, senior bankers told the Reuters Global M&A Summit.

Still, while company earnings and balance sheets are strong, bankers said economic fragility, natural disaster, and political tumult in the Middle East were hurting corporate confidence and holding back a more robust M&A recovery.

Mar 25, 2011

Sirona Dental says $2 billion-plus deals possible

LONDON (Reuters) – Sirona Dental Systems Inc (SIRO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is open to $2 billion-plus takeovers, given appropriate financing, and to deals outside its core business of dental equipment and software, Chief Executive Jost Fischer said.

Sirona, which has a market value of about $2.7 billion, specializes in equipment such as high-tech dental chairs, X-ray machines and computer-aided design systems for dentists.

Mar 25, 2011

IPO revival gives comfort to Glencore float plan

LONDON (Reuters) – Signs of firms testing investor demand for new listings only a week after volatility derailed two of Europe’s largest offerings so far this year will embolden Glencore GLEN.UL as it presses ahead with its own mega-float.

If all goes to plan, the commodities giant could be expected to kick-start its listing with an intention to float early next month, soon after an April 1 deadline for sell-side analysts to complete their research notes on the company.

Mar 24, 2011

Doughty Hanson mulls options for Avanza, hires JPM

MADRID/LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – British private equity
group Doughty Hanson [DOUHA.UL] signalled it was considering a
sale or flotation of its Spanish bus firm Avanza Group and had
hired JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as an adviser.

“Doughty Hanson has chosen JPMorgan to lead a strategic
review of the options available to Avanza,” a spokesman for the
buyout firm said.

Mar 22, 2011

Glencore close to hiring eight banks for IPO – source

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore GLEN.UL, the Swiss commodity trading giant, is close to hiring eight banks to supervise its planned multi-billion-dollar London and Hong Kong listing, a person familiar with the matter said.

Glencore, valued earlier this year by one analyst at about $60 billion (36.6 billion pounds), is continuing to prepare for what could be a record London initial public offering (IPO), despite market turmoil scuppering several other flotations.

Mar 22, 2011

Glencore close to hiring 8 banks for IPO: source

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore GLEN.UL, the Swiss commodity trading giant, is close to hiring eight banks to supervise its planned multi-billion-dollar London and Hong Kong listing, a person familiar with the matter said.

Glencore, valued earlier this year by one analyst at about $60 billion, is continuing to prepare for what could be a record London initial public offering (IPO), despite market turmoil scuppering several other flotations.

Mar 22, 2011

Forth Ports agrees to £760 million Arcus takeover

LONDON (Reuters) – Forth Ports accepted a 760 million pounds takeover offer from Arcus, the infrastructure investor that is already its largest shareholder, ending a year-long pursuit of Britain’s only listed ports group.

The buyout by Arcus — a former European unit of collapsed Australian investment firm Babcock & Brown — is about 19 percent above an offer Forth rejected last year, and highlights a wider recovery in infrastructure dealmaking.

Mar 22, 2011

Forth Ports agrees to $1.2 billion Arcus takeover

LONDON (Reuters) – Forth Ports accepted a 760 million pounds ($1.2 billion) takeover offer from Arcus, the infrastructure investor that is already its largest shareholder, ending a year-long pursuit of Britain’s only listed ports group.

The buyout by Arcus — a former European unit of collapsed Australian investment firm Babcock & Brown — is about 19 percent above an offer Forth rejected last year, and highlights a wider recovery in infrastructure dealmaking.

    • 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."
    • Follow Quentin