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Jun 10, 2010

Banks say reform plans could cut growth by 3 pct

VIENNA, June 10 (Reuters) – A regulatory crackdown on banks could cut 3 percent off economic growth over the next five years in the United States, euro zone and Japan and cost almost 10 million jobs, top banks said on Thursday.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), a bank lobby group representing more than 400 companies, said a need to hold more capital, pay more taxes and other possible reforms could hit economic growth hard.

Jun 9, 2010

China bank ICBC head warns recovery not solid

VIENNA (Reuters) – The global economic recovery is not built on solid foundations and Europe’s government debt crisis is the biggest near-term risk, the chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China warned on Wednesday.

The head of ICBC, the world’s most valuable bank by market cap and China’s biggest lender by assets, said the recovery remained fragile but emerging economies were helping rebalance the economy.

Jun 8, 2010

ABB to buy Chloride Group for $1.25 billion

ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) – Switzerland’s ABB (ABBN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday announced an all-cash deal to buy Britain’s Chloride Group (CHLD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) for 860 million pounds ($1.25 billion), possibly setting off a bidding war with spurned U.S. suitor Emerson Electric Co (EMR.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

The Swiss group, which sells power equipment to oil and gas companies, said it would offer 325 pence per share to Chloride, whose products protect against power shortages at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and Arsenal’s Emirates soccer stadium.

Jun 3, 2010

Rothschild’s star rises as European M&A languishes

LONDON (Reuters) – Rothschild, which unveiled a senior hire to boost its North American business, is making the best of a steep downturn in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on its European home turf.

Ranked just 9th by value on M&A with European targets last year, the family-owned bank’s strategy of focusing on a larger number of smaller clients and deals has helped propel it into 2nd place for the year-to-date, behind JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Jun 1, 2010

Financial software firm Sophis for sale – sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity firm Advent International is seeking to sell Sophis, a provider of portfolio and risk-management software to banks and hedge funds, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Advent has hired Credit Suisse to help it prepare for a sale of the business, which is likely to take place after the European summer, three of the people said.

Jun 1, 2010

Exclusive: Financial software firm Sophis for sale

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity firm Advent International is seeking to sell Sophis, a provider of portfolio and risk-management software to banks and hedge funds, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Advent has hired Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) to help it prepare for a sale of the business, which is likely to take place after the European summer, three of the people said.

Jun 1, 2010

UK’s takeover watchdog consults on merger rules

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s takeover watchdog, stung into action by Kraft Foods’ (KFT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) controversial takeover of Cadbury, has asked for opinions on a slew of rule changes that could raise the bar for acquisitions.

The Takeover Panel’s consultation follows debate among business leaders and politicians about whether the country’s decades-long openness to deals puts it at a long-term disadvantage.

Jun 1, 2010

Prudential banks face hit to fees, standing

LONDON/HONG KONG, June 1 (Reuters) – The likely demise of
the biggest takeover so far this year — Prudential Plc’s
(PRU.L: Quote, Profile, Research) bid for AIG’s (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Asian unit — spells a big hit to
fees and reputation for the many investment banks involved.

The attempt to take over AIA was fraught with missteps, and
AIG’s quick rejection of a reduced $30.4 billion offer from the
British insurer pushed the deal close to collapse on Tuesday.
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May 28, 2010

World’s investment banks checked by debt crisis

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s government-debt crisis has choked off a 14-month surge in sales of new bonds and shares, while mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are at a nine-month low, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The drop-off in capital markets and M&A activity is bad news for companies seeking to raise new funds or sell unwanted units; for buyout houses and entrepreneurs eager to cash in by bringing private firms to market; and for banks, such as JPMorgan <JPM.N>, which raked in record investment-banking fees in 2009.

May 21, 2010

European healthcare buyouts show signs of life

LONDON (Reuters) – Buyout firms are preparing for a string of deals involving European hospitals, laboratory testing firms and other healthcare services providers, lured by a sector that has proved resilient during the financial crisis.

Bidders are running the slide rule over several companies already owned by rival private equity shops, following a slew of recent so-called “secondary buyouts” in this and other sectors.

    • 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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