John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' U.S. editor. He has previously written and edited from London, Beijing and Hong Kong, and established Breakingviews’ first Asian bureau in 2009, subsequently running the European team from 2015 to 2017. Before joining Breakingviews in 2004, John worked as a copywriter for a London-based advertising agency. He read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford.
An unprofitable Chinese coffee chain that didn’t exist two years ago was valued at $6 bln within minutes of its New York IPO. Luckin is well placed if frosty Sino-American relations ping back on U.S. rival Starbucks. Beyond that, the debut is every bit as irrational as it sounds.
Once the scourge of big brands, the online shaving upstart is selling to Schick owner Edgewell for $1.4 bln. Harry’s is growing but unprofitable, hence the ho-hum price, and its new owner’s sales need refreshing. But a thick lather of debt blunts the logic.
Its bankers are so keen for client Occidental to prevail with its $38 bln offer for rival Anadarko that chief Brian Moynihan personally called Warren Buffett for help. After losing ground for a decade, BofA’s dealmakers and their new boss Matthew Koder could use the boost.