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Apr 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap

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By Quentin Webb and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap. An optimistic reading of the underlying valuations suggests M&A could deliver shareholders in the London-listed mobile giant perhaps 35 percent more value than they have now. That’s an extra 31.5 billion pounds ($47.6 billion). But unlocking this would entail huge deals and huge headaches to match.

Apr 3, 2013
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Tele2′s Russia retreat may spur mobile competition

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By Quentin Webb

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

Tele2 is making a decent Russian exit, all considered. The Swedish telecom is selling its unit there for $3.55 billion to state-backed VTB. Attempts to gatecrash the Kremlin-blessed deal look forlorn. And life may get harder for Tele2’s bigger rivals.

Mar 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Maybe “Gucci” didn’t work. But “Kering”: really?

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By Quentin Webb

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

It sounds like caring, there’s a hint of Breton, and it comes with an owl. PPR is becoming “Kering”. Renaming the parent company will hardly deter buyers of the French group’s illustrious brands, such as Gucci or Bottega Veneta. But this latest corporate offence against language hints at worrying groupthink within PPR – sorry, Kering – HQ.

Mar 21, 2013

Breakingviews-Forget a flood of telco deals after EU thaw

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Europe’s telecoms
firms are finally getting Brussels to ease up. It’s an exciting
moment for this fragmented sector, which bankers have long hoped
would generate a wave of M&A. But the European Union should not
give too much ground.

Mar 13, 2013

Breakingviews-Moleskine turns over new leaf with ambitious IPO

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Moleskine is
opening a new chapter in the annals of aggressive flotations.
The maker of sleek black notebooks is seeking an initial public
offering in Milan. The “equity story” is based on strong
branding, growth and margins. Investors must now choose whether
they want to go along with another tale of consumer infatuation.

Mar 6, 2013

Breakingviews-Vodafone should dash for Verizon exit if it’s open

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
should dash for a U.S. exit if it’s open. Shares in the UK
telecoms group soared on March 6, on hopes that Verizon
Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) could buy it out of their $250
billion-plus joint venture. Ending a long standoff while U.S.
assets are at high valuations makes sense – as long as Vodafone
doesn’t squander the proceeds on a costly makeover.

Feb 26, 2013

Breakingviews-CME-DB deal is both justifiable and unlikely

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A $32 billion union
between CME Group (CME.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1Gn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) is
logical – and unlikely.

Feb 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Heinz deal suggests Big Food deserves a fresh look

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By Quentin Webb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opini0ns expressed are his own.

After the Warren Buffett-backed takeover of Heinz, Big Food merits a fresh look. Makers of meals, sauces and spreads may offer better value than is immediately obvious.

Feb 19, 2013
via Breakingviews

Mega-buyout in UK mobile risks skinny returns

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By Quentin Webb

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

A 10-billion-pound leveraged buyout of Britain’s biggest mobile operator would be dazzling in its sheer ambition. But the payback would be more in short-term glory than long-term financial returns.

Feb 18, 2013

Breakingviews-Mega-buyout in UK mobile risks skinny returns

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

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A 10-billion-pound
leveraged buyout of Britain’s biggest mobile operator would be
dazzling in its sheer ambition. But the payback would be more in
short-term glory than long-term financial returns.

    • 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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