Unstructured Finance

Hot pursuit of remaining LBOs

January 31, 2008

dogs.jpgThe buzz around the handful of LBOs yet to close is reaching fever pitch. 

One deal in particular was on everyone’s lips at a two-day private equity conference sponsored by Dow Jones this week – Clear Channel. Leaning against walls in corridors and settled in armchairs, conference-goers had hushed cellphone conversations about the $20 billion deal, still to close.

Betting on Buffett

January 31, 2008

Reuters correspondent Jonathan Stempel reports that whenever the dust settles from turmoil in the bond industry, there’s likely to be one familiar winner sitting atop the debris.

Check Out Line: U.S. girls shun Barbie again

January 31, 2008

barbie.jpgCheck out American girls continuing to shun Barbie,  despite Mattel’s attempts to revitalize the once-dominant brand with sleek, new products.

Daily Briefing: Betting on a better bid

January 31, 2008

The BHP-Rio Tinto saga is heating up again, with a growing consensus among investors that BHP will issue a sweetened offer by next Wednesday’s “put up or shut up” deadline set by Australia’s Britain’s Takeover Panel. Rio Tinto shares surged 7.6 percent and BHP climbed 2.6 percent. “I just expect them to come back with a definite offer and get the ball rolling. And their first offer won’t be their last offer,” said Warwick Cumming, deputy head of equities at Tyndall Investment Management, which holds shares in both companies.

Cov lite hangover a headache for LBO lenders

January 30, 2008

Private equity’s “golden age” is looking a little less shiny for lenders behind the LBO boom.

Opportunity knocks in the garage

January 30, 2008

gladiator.JPGOne research group says department stores and other retailers could be missing out on an opportunity to gain sales in a part of the home that doesn’t seem to be affected by the current U.S. housing slowdown: the garage.

Check Out Line: Costs eating away at profits

January 30, 2008

Check out higher commodity costs taking a big bite out of corporate profits.

cow.jpgOn Wednesday, Kraft Foods posted a lower quarterly profit after higher costs for dairy products and other ingredients offset an 11 percent increase in sales.

Daily Briefing: The French Connection

January 30, 2008

Talk of a potential bid by BNP Paribas for its rogue trading-stricken compatriot Societe Generale pushed up SocGen shares by more than 10 percent on Tuesday, and BNP isn’t doing much to squelch the rumors. Chief Financial Officer Philippe Bordenave ducked questions on whether BNP might bid for its French rival, which it previously tried to buy in 1999, saying: “My team and I have worked around the clock to get the figures that we are publishing today. During that very short timeframe I have not had much time to elaborate much further on SocGen.” Given the French government’s determination to fend off foreign aggressors, the market seems to like BNP’s chances.

Lazard’s results nearly a private affair

January 30, 2008

top_secret_ver1.jpgAfter 157 years as an elite private partnership steeped in Old World secrecy and intrigue, investment bank Lazard went public in May 2005 on the New York Stock Exchange. Alas, old habits die hard.

Holiday promos still abound well into the New Year

January 29, 2008

macy.jpgAnd you thought the beginning of the New Year would mean the end of holiday-type promotions.