Quentin's Feed
Dec 12, 2013
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Ziggo has ways to put pressure on Liberty

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

Ziggo has opened the door to John Malone’s Liberty Global. A few weeks after rebuffing an approach, the Dutch cable group has confirmed takeover talks with its larger rival. Any deal would be both big and logical, since it and Liberty’s UPC unit dominate the local market. Now Ziggo has conceded a willingness to sell to its dominant shareholder, the task is to get full value from a weak position.

Dec 3, 2013
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Versace’s valuation is as full-on as its outfits

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By Quentin Webb

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

Versace’s valuation looks as full-on as its outfits. The Italian fashion house, which is sizing up buyout firms and sovereign wealth outfits to fund a capital increase, reckons it is worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion) and could triple in value in three years. There is real potential, because Versace is so behind industry trends. But a big price tag for a skimpy minority stake next to a powerful family? That’s a hard look to pull off.

Nov 29, 2013
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Pearson makes a tidy turn in the merger market

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

Pearson has made a tidy turn in the merger market. The British publisher, now mainly focused on education, is selling Mergermarket to private equity firm BC Partners for substantially more than it paid for the financial news and data outfit in 2006.

Oct 15, 2013
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CEO makeover leaves Burberry with plenty to prove

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By Quentin Webb

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

Burberry’s executive makeover leaves the British trench-coat maker with plenty to prove. Angela Ahrendts, chief executive of the $11 billion fashion house, is leaving next year to run Apple’s retail operation. That lopped 4.5 percent off Burberry shares on Tuesday morning.

Oct 7, 2013
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Solvay pays up to tap into fracking market

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By Quentin Webb

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

Solvay is paying up to tap into fracking. The $13 billion Belgian chemicals group is staking $1.3 billion on Chemlogics, a U.S. specialist in compounds for extracting oil and gas. The price looks high. But there should be tax savings, a sales boost, and a chance to ride the shale revolution.

Sep 25, 2013

Brekaingviews- Nokia boss gets golden parachute without ejecting

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Stephen Elop’s $25
million golden parachute is hard to defend. Nokia’s (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research)
outgoing boss stands to earn this in the $7.2 billion sale of
the group’s handset business to Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research), his old
employer. That has unnerved egalitarian Finland, which is
already sore about the decline of a national champion. Sloppy
communication hasn’t helped. But what’s most awkward is that
Elop has it both ways: he collects a payoff usually meant to
compensate bosses for being fired or sidelined, while also
taking a major role at Microsoft.

Sep 20, 2013
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Foxtons makes fittingly brash London market debut

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By Quentin Webb

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

Foxtons has made a fittingly brash market debut. The famously pushy London estate agent floated at the top of its price range, for a 649 million pound ($1.04 billion) valuation. A 21 percent bounce in the stock quickly added almost 140 million pounds more in value. Never mind the eye-watering prices for London houses: big investors clearly think the capital’s property market is unstoppable.

Sep 11, 2013
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Carlos Slim can pay more for KPN

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

Carlos Slim can pay more for KPN. Unless the two sides agree a friendly deal, a poison pill will probably stop the billionaire’s America Movil from buying the 70.2 percent of the Dutch telecoms outfit that it does not already own. Yet there are strategic and financial reasons for Slim to keep the deal alive. And since his current offer looks cheap, a sweetened bid could still stack up.

Sep 11, 2013

Breakingviews- Carlos Slim can pay more for KPN

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Carlos Slim can
pay more for KPN (KPN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research). Unless the two sides agree a friendly
deal, a poison pill will probably stop the billionaire’s America
Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) from buying the 70.2 percent of the Dutch
telecoms outfit that it does not already own. Yet there are
strategic and financial reasons for Slim to keep the deal alive.
And since his current offer looks cheap, a sweetened bid could
still stack up.

Sep 10, 2013
via Breakingviews

Vodafone rightly defies hedge funds in cable tangle

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

Vodafone is right to defy the hedge funds over its $10 billion bid for Kabel Deutschland. The London-listed mobile giant says it won’t alter its agreed offer for the German cable company, even after Elliott Management and Davidson Kempner amassed possible blocking stakes of 10.9 percent and 3.4 percent. Vodafone’s resolve makes sense – a failed deal would hit everyone. But even if the offer succeeds, a fight looms over the remainder of Kabel Deutschland’s shares.

    • 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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