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Apr 4, 2013

Breakingviews: Facebook super-app wants to live off Google

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Facebook’s (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) new super-app wants to live off Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research). The social network’s Home software, unveiled on Thursday, sits on top of the Android smartphone operating system. That encourages people to use Facebook over rival services. Google built Android, but Mark Zuckerberg’s company plainly likes the idea of grabbing a piece of it.

Apr 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Facebook super-app wants to live off Google

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

Facebook’s new super-app wants to live off Google. The social network’s Home software, unveiled on Thursday, sits on top of the Android smartphone operating system. That encourages people to use Facebook over rival services. Google built Android, but Mark Zuckerberg’s company plainly likes the idea of grabbing a piece of it.

Apr 4, 2013

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap

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

By Quentin Webb and Robert Cyran

LONDON/NEW YORK, April 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Deal
prospects make Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research)(VOD.O: Quote, Profile, Research) 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 2, 2013
via Breakingviews

MetroPCS owners can forget a standalone option

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By Robert Cyran and Jeffrey Goldfarb
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

MetroPCS owners should forget about a standalone option. Dissident investors John Paulson and Peter Schoenfeld persuaded two proxy services that the cellphone operator is selling out on the cheap to rival T-Mobile USA and that independence is a better option. While the agitating may bring a sweeter bid, MetroPCS is unlikely to prosper or exist for long on its own.

Apr 1, 2013

Breakingviews-Dell blow-by-blow makes rival bidders’ jobs harder

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

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A bidding war
for Dell (DELL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) just became even less likely. The computer
company on Friday laid out, in a novel-length filing, its
reasoning for agreeing to a $24.4 billion buyout by founder
Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. It’s
only the company’s version, but Dell seemingly did what it could
to secure the best offer available.

Mar 28, 2013
via Breakingviews

How to go public and private all in one go

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

A Brazilian company seems to have found a way to go public and private all in one go. Biosev, an ethanol producer, is preparing to sell new shares next month. As part of the deal, parent company Louis Dreyfus is offering to buy them back in 15 months. It’s essentially an initial public offering, convertible bond and potential buyout packaged together. And it’s an overly clever solution to a unique problem.

Mar 25, 2013
via Breakingviews

Blackstone, Icahn likely to stub toe on Dell

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

Blackstone and Carl Icahn are likely to stub their toe on Dell. Both are offering more for the computer maker than the $24.4 billion from its eponymous founder. But the new bids rely on existing investors keeping a small public stake. In theory that obviates the need to get Michael Dell’s support. In practice, the downsides of such stub equity make it a long shot.

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.

    • 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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