Ed joined the London Breakingviews team in 2018 as Africa columnist. Before that, he was Reuters sub-Saharan Africa bureau chief, based in Johannesburg. During two decades at Reuters, Ed has reported from three continents, with postings in London, Edinburgh, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Johannesburg. Along the way, he has covered everything from the dotcom bubble to the death of Nelson Mandela and fall of Robert Mugabe. He holds a degree in Classics from Cambridge University.
The German chemicals group may spend $10 billion compensating alleged cancer victims of its acquisition’s Roundup weed killer. That would be better than CEO Werner Baumann’s worst fears. But it barely makes his ill-starred $66 billion deal look any better.
An earnings hit from a U.S. mega-merger is only one headache for the $28 bln Swedish telecoms firm. Britain appears to be throwing a lifeline to Chinese rival Huawei. And mobile operators are pushing hard to break the pair’s grip over the $500 bln market for next-generation kit.
The African tech group has sold $1.7 bln of shares in its Amsterdam spinoff Prosus, whose main asset is a $150 bln stake in the Chinese web giant. Using the funds to buy back stock has merit, but Naspers will have to be bolder if it wants to close the Dutch firm’s valuation gap.