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Feb 18, 2014
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Actavis makes pharma deals look generic

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

 

Actavis makes pharmaceutical deals look generic. Its $25 billion acquisition of Forest Laboratories follows a familiar formula in the sector. Uppity investor? Check. Low-tax jurisdiction? Check. Buyer’s stock rises? Check. And over $8 billion of value created means financiers will keep busy with their own prescriptions for M&A success.

Feb 14, 2014
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Jos. A. Bank’s daft deal knits owners in a bind

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

Jos. A. Bank’s daft deal is knitting its shareholders in a bind. To avoid being acquired, or perhaps to fetch a higher price from rival Men’s Wearhouse, the suits retailer is issuing stock to buy Eddie Bauer at $56 a share, only to buy more back at $65. If the $875 million transaction isn’t unraveled, investors will find themselves painfully stitched up.

Feb 14, 2014
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Jos. A. Bank’s daft deal knits owners in a bind

Photo

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

Jos. A. Bank’s daft deal is knitting its shareholders in a bind. To avoid being acquired, or perhaps to fetch a higher price from rival Men’s Wearhouse, the suits retailer is issuing stock to buy Eddie Bauer at $56 a share, only to buy more back at $65. If the $875 million transaction isn’t unraveled, investors will find themselves painfully stitched up.

Feb 12, 2014
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Cross-border arbitrage is expansive Bimbo’s yeast

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

Cross-border arbitrage is the yeast for Grupo Bimbo’s aggressive expansion. In its latest deal north of the border, the acquisitive Mexican breadmaker is shelling out $1.8 billion to buy Canada Bread. Paying 20 times earnings to move into a mature market may seem questionable. But Bimbo’s earnings fetch an even higher multiple at home – and the deal should lower its weighted average cost of capital.

Feb 6, 2014
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Twitter a victim of its own measure for success

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By Robert Cyran

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

Twitter may be a victim of its own measure for success. The social network is growing and mining lots of user dollars, but not enough to justify a whopping value of 30 times sales. The lofty figure rests on a rise in the company’s highly touted home brew of “timeline views.” That number’s falling, suggesting tweeters are losing interest.

Feb 4, 2014
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Microsoft founders recede into middle distance

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Microsoft’s founding fathers are finally receding into the middle distance. Satya Nadella’s experience makes him a solid choice to succeed longtime Chief Executive Steven Ballmer. Better still, he will have greater room to maneuver as Bill Gates steps down as chairman. Nadella will need to grapple with his predecessors’ bad decisions, like the Nokia deal, and he’s unlikely to pursue a breakup. But he can focus on what the company does best.

While many candidates entered the frame, it was always going to be a difficult post to fill. Microsoft spans everything from its omnipresent operating system to enterprise software to consumer hardware. It’s also threatened by upstarts and a shift in technology away from PCs. Finding a manager that understands technology, all these markets and has skills in revitalizing a mature behemoth was close to impossible.

Jan 26, 2014
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Apple’s stubbornness on full show before earnings

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple’s stubbornness is on show before its quarterly earnings report, expected on Monday. The longevity of the Macintosh computer, 30 years old on Friday, is one sign of Apple’s persistence. Sure, the company occasionally bows to external demands – but rarely admits it. It will add to its product lineup and, as investor Carl Icahn is demanding, it will one day return more cash to shareholders. But outside pressure won’t get any credit.

Jan 14, 2014
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Google raises temperature on “internet of things”

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

Google has turned up the temperature on the so-called “internet of things.” The search giant’s decision to pay $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, a maker of smart thermostats, signals a shift in Silicon Valley’s arc of disruption. Sending data to people on the go looks rather ho-hum next to a future where consumers communicate with, and control, their products remotely.

Jan 6, 2014
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John Malone deploys same old tricks against Sirius

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

John Malone is up to his same old tricks against Sirius XM. Liberty Media, where he serves as chairman, is offering more than $10 billion to squeeze out the satellite radio company’s minority investors. They’d get a derisory 3 pct premium and perhaps better liquidity in return for non-voting Liberty stock with inferior prospects. Sirius shareholders should hit back.

Dec 23, 2013
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Beware old tech seeking fountain of youth

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By Robert Cyran

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

Beware of old tech seeking the fountain of youth. Hardware makers including Cisco, IBM and Hewlett-Packard – with a combined two centuries of life among them – are increasingly falling prey to natural selection in Silicon Valley. They’re devouring smaller, newer firms to keep pace, but weaknesses are getting harder to hide. That could lead to bigger, desperate deals for richly valued business software and big data companies.

    • 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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