AB InBev’s $99 bln cash offer for SABMiller is robust. The alternative stock package is unusual, but looks cleverly designed to meet the tax needs of Altria and BevCo, SAB’s 41 percent shareholders. It also eases post-deal debt pressures. MegaBeer is almost here.
The French corporate raider has increased his stake in the Italian telco to 20 pct. His recent purchases could be a defensive move to avoid dilution, or to profit from cross-border consolidation. But it could also be part of a more activist plan to shake up Italian pay-TV.
The South Korean giant’s operating profit topped $6 bln in the third quarter – the first improvement since 2013. While smartphone sales are struggling, Samsung’s chip business is increasingly powering its bottom line. Future growth will depend more on components than handsets.
Two of the hottest sectors for deals this year have extended their run. Apple chip supplier Skyworks agreed to buy PMC-Sierra for $2 bln and AmerisourceBergen is purchasing PharMEDium for $2.6 bln. Investors in both acquirers jeered, building on a worrisome trend for mergers.
The U.S. cable network behind “Shark Week” and other nature fare plans to pad profit with subscriptions to its Eurosport channels. Like Americans, though, Europeans clamor for video streaming from Netflix, Amazon and other upstarts. The bundled-programming ship may have sailed.
Europe’s top court has called an agreement over data transfer between the euro zone and America “invalid”. Legal alternatives exist, but will be costly for smaller companies. It will make it harder for Europe’s tech industry - and a single, regional internet market - to blossom.
The South African-born brewer used the G-word six times in the first three sentences of an ostensibly ordinary Q2 trading statement. The intention looks clear. Seven days ahead of Anheuser’s deadline to launch a formal $100 bln-plus offer, SAB is saying: pay up or shut up.
Denis O’Brien has shelved plans for a $2 billion listing of Digicel, his Caribbean telco. Markets haven’t treated recent IPOs kindly. But Digicel’s undemocratic voting structure, high debt and exposure to the Haitian gourde required an especially strong stomach.
Co-founder Tony Fernandes would need about $800 mln of additional financing to take the embattled budget carrier private. Though buyouts are rare in the cyclical industry, it could make sense for investors willing to bet on a Malaysian recovery and on oil prices staying low.
The latest World Economic Outlook notes that reported growth is slowing, but cannot quite explain why. The picture would be clearer, and probably look brighter, if the IMF relied less on faulty measures like GDP and productivity. More attention to financial harm also would help.
Jim Bob Moffett’s energy group is bowing to pressure from activist Carl Icahn. It’s ditching board seats and a controversial management structure and may hive off the oil and gas unit it bought in a bad 2012 deal. Like Chesapeake, though, more fundamental changes may be needed.
The assault on the troubled national airline’s HR director isn’t the first French use of unconventional negotiating techniques. It’s not totally irrational, as the government often yields to direct action. But with its swollen cost base, Air France can’t afford to be cowed.
Full disclosure from the UK central bank governor could shake investors’ view that rates won’t rise for at least another year. But this might be inconvenient for Mark Carney since it would result in an economy-harming stronger pound. Carney may try for a calibrated compromise.