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Friday, 25 April 2014


Rob Cox, US Editor, Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Coke takes fizz out of shareholder spring

24 April 2014

Just as investors seemed to break through entrenched boards’ barricades, Coca-Cola owners - shockingly led by Warren Buffett - turned to jelly. A failure to challenge the transfer of vast wealth to 6,400 Coke soda jerks shows the agency problem still plagues Corporate America.

Fiber optic cables carrying internet providers are seen running into a server room at Intergate.Manhattan, a data center owned and developed by Sabey Data Center Properties, during a tour of the facility in lower Manhattan, in New York, March 20, 2013.The

FCC opts for net reality over neutrality

24 April 2014

The U.S. communications watchdog will allow charges for carrying content faster but keep the internet open to all. That means data hogs like Netflix pay extra and others still get access. It’s a way to protect consumers while bowing to the need for more broadband investment.

Valeant's M&A machine may soon overheat

24 April 2014

Some of the brain trust behind the hyper-acquisition strategy is leaving the board just as the pharmaceutical company embarks on its biggest deal. Buying Allergan would swell Valeant to $75 bln with debt of eight times EBITDA. Finding meaningful targets will be much harder.

The French flag flies under the Arc de Triomphe

French M&A: a guide for foreign buyers

24 April 2014

Deals for Publicis and Lafarge belie the sneers that France is closed to outsiders. If GE really wants to buy all of Alstom, it needs to be sensitive to local politics. Save some top roles for the French side. Maybe even rename the enlarged, “Paris-based” group Alstom-Electric.

Doctor Angel Villamor explains the hip replacement surgery underwent by Spain's King Juan Carlos at San Jose hospital in Madrid April 14, 2012. King Juan Carlos broke his right hip in a fall during a private trip to Botswana, the Royal Household said.

U.S. investors see yet another big acquirer as hip

24 April 2014

Zimmer’s $13 bln deal for rival Biomet promises savings. But the medical device maker is giving too much away to its target’s private equity owners for that to justify a 15 pct, or $2.3 bln, pop in its market value. This time, enthusiastic share buyers are betting on growth.

A GM sign is seen outside the Medved General Motors car dealership in Arvada, Colorado

GM avoids recall crash but road is still rough

24 April 2014

The carmaker had a decent Q1 aside from a $1.3 bln hit from its ignition switch-related fiasco. CEO Mary Barra even managed to keep earnings in the black – just. GM can afford more recall costs. The challenge is they’ll come with other drags, perhaps including slower U.S. sales.

A cyclist rides his bike past Alstom headquarters in Levallois-Perret, near Paris, November 6, 2013.

GE/Alstom deal rumours test French reform drive

24 April 2014

Shares in the Paris-based engineer jumped 14 pct on reports it has received a bid. Alstom vaguely denied the story. But mere talk about a sale to the U.S. conglomerate will embarrass the French government just as its business-friendly reforms are proving a hard sell domestically.