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Friday, 27 May 2016

Americas

The corporate logo of Bayer.

Bayer's Monsanto bid yields poor financial harvest

27 May 2016

The German chemicals group’s rejected $62 bln offer for the seed maker already appeared to violate one of its key principles: stick to projects whose returns beat the cost of capital. Upping the price to win over Monsanto would take heroic sales-growth assumptions to stack up.

Graduate student Giulia Agliardi, from Milan, Italy, uses a fluorescence microscope to study cancer cells in the Nanomedicine Lab at UCL's School of Pharmacy in London May 2, 2013.

Thermo Fisher's FEI deal holds up under microscope

27 May 2016

But that’s only if the healthcare M&A machine can boost sales at its $4.2 bln quarry. Reducing taxes and cutting costs at the maker of electron microscopes only gets Thermo partway to justifying the price tag. Thermo’s track record gives investors some comfort it can do this.

A Zoomlion company logo is seen next to its excavators at an exhibition in Shanghai, November 29, 2012.

Zoomlion deals fresh blow to China M&A credibility

27 May 2016

The Chinese machinery-maker has walked away from a bid for U.S. rival Terex. After other high-profile failed deals, this further dents the prospects for other mainland bidders eyeing Western targets. At least Zoomlion’s own finances will be a bit more robust.

A woman walks with her shopping bags in central Paris October 13, 2008.

Activist pushes on U.S. retailer's open door

26 May 2016

Hedge fund Barington wants two board seats and costs slashed at struggling Chico’s. It owns just a 1.4 pct stake at the $1.5 bln seller of women’s clothing. The company also is already shaking things up with its own new qualified directors. This investor aggression is overdone.

Jeffrey Goldfarb

Review: Craft-beer memoir goes down easy

27 May 2016

Jim Koch’s tale of brewing Samuel Adams is refreshingly candid about battles with Budweiser, a controversial IPO and other troubles. Unlike many stale business books, “Quench Your Own Thirst” reads like a pub chat. Only Koch’s pride in bad governance leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Mortgage

U.S. mortgage agency misses Wall Street lesson

26 May 2016

The Federal Home Loan Banks, which fund private-sector banks’ housing lending, now rely on short-term borrowing for over half their debt. That may boost the profitability of their nearly $1 trln of assets. But as the 2008 crisis taught regular banks, it also increases risk.

People shop inside an Apple store in central London March 29, 2006.

Apple may find it harder saying "no" to bad ideas

26 May 2016

An executive at the tech giant reportedly proposed a bid for Time Warner. That seems contrary to founder Steve Jobs’ recipe for success: reject “1,000 ideas” and focus only on the few good ones. But an aging iPhone, a tepid stock price and a cash pile risk making the mediocre tempting.