Quentin's Feed
Jul 8, 2013
via Breakingviews

Vivendi games over Activision cash sound worrying

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Vivendi games over Activision’s cash could be worrying. As of July 9, the French media and telecoms group can force a big dividend payout from its 61-percent-owned subsidiary – whether or not independent directors of the U.S. video-games company agree. An aggressive move could suggest that all is not well elsewhere in Vivendi’s empire.

Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou set about re-inventing Vivendi last year, promising “no taboos” just as he was ousting his chief executive. So far he has little to show for this promise, except a doubling-down in music. Still, a sale of the group’s Moroccan unit, Maroc Tel, to Etisalat of Abu Dhabi could be on the cards. And the boss of SFR, the group’s French mobile operator, says it is ready to float.

Jul 1, 2013
via Breakingviews

Nokia gets options with cheap NSN buyout

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By Quentin Webb

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

Nokia has got the better of Siemens. The Finnish mobile-phone company is buying out its German partner from their Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture for a cheap 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion). Nokia gets full ownership of this restructured and profitable telecoms-equipment business, while reducing its reliance on handsets. The purchase could also open the way to future deal-making.

Jun 24, 2013
via Breakingviews

Savings make Vodafone’s Kabel deal palatable

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By Quentin Webb

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

Cost savings make Vodafone’s punchy bid for Kabel Deutschland palatable. The London-listed mobile giant has offered a hefty 10.7 billion euros ($14.0 billion), including debt, for Germany’s largest cable operator. Sceptics think Vodafone can be ponderous and profligate in M&A. But this looks acceptable – provided Vodafone can reap the promised financial benefits.

Jun 19, 2013

Breakingviews-BT does its best to counteract government poaching

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – BT Group (BT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is
doing its best to counteract government poaching. After leading
an impressive turnaround, Chief Executive Ian Livingston is off
to Westminster. The timing is surprising: the telecoms group is
just embarking on a big push in television. But it is hard to
make the boss turn down a prestigious government gig. And a
strong internal successor signals continuity.

Jun 19, 2013

EQT compromises to get Springer Science sold

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – EQT has had to
compromise to sell Springer Science+Business Media [SPSBM.UL].
The Swedish buyout firm is offloading the world’s second-largest
academic publisher to rival BC Partners [BCPRT.UL], for a
decent-looking 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion). But it has been
a slog. And the final structure implies an enduring gap on
valuation.

Jun 18, 2013

Breakingviews- Vodafone remains best bet for Kabel Deutschland

(Adds Context News)

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The mobile giant
has stronger finances than U.S. challenger Liberty Global. It
would reap more savings from the German cable company and irk
regulators less. But it is Liberty’s last chance to get national
coverage in a vital market. And Vodafone investors may balk at
the price.

Full view will be published shortly.

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CONTEXT NEWS

– Kabel Deutschland has received a preliminary takeover
proposal from John Malone’s Liberty Global. The news came five
days after Kabel Deutschland disclosed a similar approach from
Vodafone Group, the London-listed mobile operator.

Jun 6, 2013
via Breakingviews

Springer Science IPO: subscription needs research

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By Quentin Webb

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

People who want to keep up with “Siberian Advances in Mathematics” and the “American Journal of Potato Research” must pay up for the privilege. Costly journal subscriptions lie behind the success of academic publisher Springer Science+Business Media. But investors should do some serious research before subscribing to what could be a fully priced Frankfurt IPO.

Jun 4, 2013

German double bill could make sense for Vodafone

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Vodafone’s (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
German double-bill could make sense. The British mobile group is
once again eyeing Kabel Deutschland (KD8Gn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), the Wall Street
Journal says, for a takeover that could top 10 billion euros

May 21, 2013

Breakingviews:Vodafone’s drab results are a sideshow

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Vodafone’s (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
predictably drab results are something of a sideshow. The key
question for investors remains whether Chief Executive Vittorio
Colao can agree a good deal for partner Verizon Communications
(VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to buy Vodafone out of the duo’s U.S. joint venture.

Apr 25, 2013
via Breakingviews

Pressure builds on Vodafone to make U.S. exit

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By Quentin Webb

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Pressure is building on Vodafone to make a U.S. exit. The latest in a string of deal stories says partner Verizon Communications has hired advisers for a potential buyout of the duo’s mobile joint venture, Verizon Wireless.

    • 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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