Robert's Feed
Jul 2, 2013

Zynga founder puts second set of hands on wheel

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Zynga’s (ZNGA.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
founder is putting a second set of hands on the wheel. Mark
Pincus, who controls the flailing online gaming firm through
super-voting stock, has replaced himself as chief executive with
Microsoft’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Don Mattrick. That sounds good for regular
shareholders. But Pincus will still be hovering in the corner
office. That could make Zynga harder to fix.

Jun 27, 2013
via Breakingviews

IPO investors sober up as punch bowl drains

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Investors have sobered up about new stock issues with the punch bowl draining. Computer retailer CDW and tool wholesaler HD Supply both were forced to slash their debut prices on Wednesday night. Until then, buyers had been lapping up initial public offerings at a pace not seen in six years. Without the intoxicating effect of ultra-low interest rates, though, revenue-free startups and heavily indebted buyouts will be harder to serve up.

The proof is in the two mega-sales. HD Supply, the onetime Home Depot division taken private in 2007 for $8.5 billion, reduced the price of its shares by nearly a fifth to below the bottom of its indicated range. A lowered price by CDW, the target of a $7.3 billion leveraged buyout the same year, wasn’t incentive enough. It wound up selling fewer shares than originally planned.

Jun 25, 2013
via Breakingviews

Snapchat’s valuation built on false assumption

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

Snapchat’s $800 million valuation is built on a false assumption. Mistakes last forever on the Internet. That’s why everyone from teenagers to traders have latched onto the company’s app, which can send self-deleting pictures and videos. The problem is, it’s not foolproof – and the perception that it is could lead to even more embarrassing mistakes.

Jun 24, 2013

Breakingviews:Private equity finds egress easier than entrance

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Private equity
is finding the egress a lot easier than the entrance.
Blackstone’s (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) sale of Vanguard Health Systems (VHS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to
rival hospital chain Tenet (THC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) for $1.7 billion is just the
latest example of a successful cash-out. The leveraged buyout
firm led by Steve Schwarzman more than doubled its money on the
deal. Finding suitable investments – and companies that will
accept private equity cash – is harder.

Jun 21, 2013

Breakingviews-Microsoft’s bucket list needs more realism

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Microsoft’s
(MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) bucket list needs a tad more realism. The U.S. software
giant dreamed of “Windows everywhere” in its wildly successful
youth. Now, the firm seems to be racking up new experiences
while it still has strength. It has decided not to take on
Amazon (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) at e-commerce, according to the Wall Street
Journal – and that’s good. A narrower focus could prove more
rewarding.

Jun 19, 2013

Dish refines guerrilla campaign against SoftBank

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Dish Network
(DISH.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is refining its guerrilla campaign against SoftBank
(9984.T: Quote, Profile, Research). The satellite TV company won’t be increasing its bid
for Sprint (S.N: Quote, Profile, Research), it announced late Tuesday. Barring any
last-minute surprises, that paves the way for Japan’s SoftBank
to buy the U.S. telecom provider for $21.6 billion. Instead, the
satellite pay TV company is concentrating its efforts on
acquiring a chunk of Sprint’s subsidiary, Clearwire (CLWR.O: Quote, Profile, Research).
Dish’s switch in tactics may yet be enough to force SoftBank to
sign a peace agreement.

Jun 17, 2013
via Breakingviews

AT&T is all dressed up with nowhere to go

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By Robert Cyran

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

AT&T is all dressed up with nowhere to go. The telecom company had a $93 billion bid for Telefonica blocked by Madrid, according to a Spanish newspaper. The target has denied that it received any expression of interest. But the report is a sign of the problem AT&T faces: it has a lofty stock multiple, which makes M&A tempting, but it seems shut out of both domestic and foreign deals.

Jun 17, 2013

Breakingviews-AT&T is all dressed up with nowhere to go

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, June 17 (Reuters Breakingviews) – AT&T (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is
all dressed up with nowhere to go. The telecom company had a $93
billion bid for Telefonica (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) blocked by Madrid, according
to a Spanish newspaper. The target has denied that it received
any expression of interest. But the report is a sign of the
problem AT&T faces: it has a lofty stock multiple, which makes
M&A tempting, but it seems shut out of both domestic and foreign
deals.

Jun 8, 2013
via Breakingviews

U.S. online spying leak could harm Silicon Valley

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

The latest leak detailing U.S. online spying could harm Silicon Valley. The National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are mining data from Internet giants including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft. The publication of some details may provide a privacy selling point for those not cooperating, like Twitter. It could also encourage other governments to engage in what might be called data nationalism.

Jun 7, 2013

Breakingviews-U.S. online spying leak could harm Silicon Valley

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, June 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Spy agencies are
mining data from Internet giants including Google, Facebook,
Yahoo and Microsoft. The publication of some details may provide
a privacy selling point for those not cooperating, like Twitter.
It could also encourage other governments to engage in data
nationalism.

Full view will be published shortly.

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    • About Robert

      "Robert Cyran, U.S. tech columnist, joined Breakingviews in London in 2003 and moved four years later to New York, where he continues to cover global technology, pharmaceuticals and special situations. Robert began his career at Forbes magazine, where he assisted in the start-up of the international version of the magazine. Before working at Breakingviews he worked as a market researcher and reporter covering the pharmaceutical industry. Robert has a Masters degree in economics from Birmingham University and an undergraduate degree from George Washington University."
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