Robert's Feed
Mar 21, 2013

Dell counter-offer better in theory than practice

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, March 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A counter-offer
for Dell (DELL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is a nicer idea in theory than in practice.
Though backers of the $24 billion buyout are, oddly, talking
down the U.S. computer maker’s prospects, investors rightly
think the price is low – and Blackstone (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is kicking the
tires. But other factors weigh against a higher bid.

Mar 12, 2013

Breakingviews-HP breakup requires new blood on the board

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A breakup of
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is both desirable and inevitable. But it
requires new blood on the board. Investors now have an
opportunity to hold the $41 billion tech conglomerate’s
directors more accountable. The company lost nearly half its
value in 2012 as dysfunction and misguided M&A caught up to HP.
Moving chairman Ray Lane and others out at the upcoming annual
meeting makes a breakup easier to push forward.

Mar 11, 2013

Intrade sheds light on gray markets going dark

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Intrade sheds
light on how quickly gray markets can go dark. The site, which
took bets on everything from elections to oil prices to its own
demise, was abruptly shuttered on Sunday. While Intrade’s
predictive record was good, it didn’t foresee the rising
controversy over under-regulated speculation. It’s a cautionary
tale for others operating in a somewhat shadowed zone.

Mar 6, 2013
via Breakingviews

Newtown effect yields bumper crop for gunsmiths

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

The “Connecticut effect” is yielding a bumper crop for gunsmiths. Smith & Wesson’s order backlog hit an all-time high following the Dec. 14 shootings of 20 first-graders and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. The company raised sales projections for the third time in a year. The prospect of tighter gun restrictions – however remote politically – has buyers in a panic. The National Rifle Association has earned its keep for another quarter.

Mar 1, 2013
via Breakingviews

Weak CEO the least of Groupon’s woes

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By Robert Cyran 

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

Groupon’s woes won’t end by firing Chief Executive Andrew Mason. The troubled Internet daily deal firm’s stock rallied around 5 percent after the board sent its witty boss packing. But with overseas operations a mess, coupons in decline and a controversial chairman calling the shots, the company has bigger problems.

Feb 25, 2013
via Breakingviews

$6.6 bln won’t be enough to end Elan’s rash dreams

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By Robert Cyran

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

Royalty Pharma’s $6.6 billion indicative offer for Elan probably won’t be enough to end the latter’s ambitious dreams. The biotechnology company has grand M&A plans after selling most of the rights to its blockbuster drug, Tysabri, for $3.25 billion earlier this month. Royalty Pharma may well use that cash more wisely than Elan’s current bosses, but a 4 percent premium won’t seal the deal.

Feb 15, 2013
via Breakingviews

Herbalife: the ultimate financial plaything

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

Herbalife has become the ultimate financial plaything. Carl Icahn cemented the status by joining uppity investors Bill Ackman and Dan Loeb in the war over the nutritional supplements seller. One idea of his is for Herbalife to go private – again. The controversial business model and rich cash flow make it easy for Wall Street to keep imprinting fresh narratives on the company.

Feb 11, 2013
via Breakingviews

Dell LBO objectors in tight corner

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By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Objectors to the founder’s $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of Dell are in a tight corner. The likes of Southeastern Asset Management are right that Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have made a lowball offer. Yet it’s at a respectable 25 percent premium, and the company’s shares haven’t topped the $13.65 per share deal price in months or Southeastern’s $23.72 per share valuation in years.

Feb 5, 2013
via Breakingviews

Dell’s $24 bln LBO involves a club of one

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

Dell’s $24 billion leveraged buyout involves essentially a club of one. And Silver Lake Partners, the sole private equity firm included, isn’t even really the charter member. Michael Dell is contributing his 14 percent stake in the PC maker he founded, cash and an investment from his MSD Capital investment arm. Time was not long ago that mega-deals required a team of buyers. For now, they remain more exclusive.

Feb 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

U.S. venture capital needs a reboot

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

U.S. venture capital needs a reboot. A decade of insufficient shrinkage hasn’t fixed wimpy performance. At 6.1 percent annually over 10 years to September, according to Cambridge Associates and the National Venture Capital Association, VC fund returns undershoot boring stock indexes like the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000.