Quentin Webb is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist, covering mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. He is based in London. Before becoming a columnist, he was a news reporter for Reuters, where he was most recently European M&A correspondent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Brussels and as a credit-markets reporter. He joined Reuters in 2003 from Legalease, a legal publisher. He has a first-class degree in psychology from University College London. Follow Quentin on Twitter @qtwebb
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The Dutch fish and animal-feed giant is about to be gobbled up in a $3.4 bln friendly deal. The buyer is SHV, the family outfit behind the Makro cash-and-carry chain. With no synergies, this deal is better seen as a long-term bet on growing global demand for protein.
Doubts over the $55 bln takeover have hurt Paulson, Elliott and other hedge funds. This caps a dismal half-decade for merger arbitrage. Bids have been scarce and spreads narrow. And the biggest, most investable deals often come with the worst political and regulatory pitfalls.
French telecom shares jumped after billionaire Xavier Niel dropped his bid to acquire T-Mobile US. The hope is that his Iliad group switches focus to a deal with bitter domestic rival Bouygues. Consolidation would aid the wider market – but Iliad is under no pressure to trade.
- Iliad bid for T-Mobile US was a deal too far
- European IPO wobble is about more than volatility
- Portugal Telecom's a stretch for French cable king
- Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore
- Time for Telecom Italia to set its own agenda
- Tesco needs to lighten the debt load
- Giant fertiliser combo looks tough to cultivate