Liam Proud joined Breakingviews in 2016. He previously worked as digital content editor at the Natural History Museum, and as deputy business features editor at the London newspaper City A.M. Liam graduated from the University of Exeter in 2013 with a degree in philosophy.
SoftBank’s $100 bln vehicle is almost spent, and CEO Masayoshi Son’s Gulf sponsors are mulling whether to back a sequel. High returns help; toppy valuations don’t. The problem is that tightening Saudi and Emirati purse strings may dent confidence in current cash-burning startups.
The Blackstone founder is giving 150 mln pounds to the 900-year-old institution for a humanities centre bearing his name. Oxford and other top universities already outspend less prestigious peers. Weaker players will have to borrow more to keep up, increasing their vulnerability.
Cable tycoon Patrick Drahi is buying the auction house for $3.7 bln at a 60% premium. Even with cost cuts, the financial prospects are humdrum. As with fellow French billionaire François-Henri Pinault’s purchase of Christie’s, the returns look more reputational than financial.