Quentin Webb is an Associate Editor at Reuters Breakingviews. He covers mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity in Asia. He joined the Hong Kong bureau in May 2015 after four years in London. Before becoming a columnist, he was a news reporter for Reuters, where his last role was as European M&A correspondent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Brussels and as a credit-markets reporter. Follow Quentin on Twitter @qtwebb
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The struggle over the $2.7 billion Shanshui chucks lots of Hong Kong corporate finance quirks into the mixer. Dilutive share issue? Check. A long trading halt, lawsuits, and unstable junk bonds? Ditto. It’s a fresh reminder of the risks of investing alongside powerful founders.
A probe found $1.2 bln of phantom profits at the electronics giant. Corporate reforms mean firms in Japan are already under huge pressure to show they are better-run and more profitable. Now they will have to work even harder to prove that overhauls are not just cosmetic.
An accounting scandal is set to force out the CEO of the Japanese firm. Its new leader will have an opportunity to bolster governance, auditing, and financial flexibility. After that, the question must be: do toll booths, nuclear plants and laptops really belong together?
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