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.
The French billionaire treats the media group like a family hedge fund. The latest instance is a new share buyback that allows the tycoon to boost his control without personally coughing up a penny. Any activist that wants to improve governance will have to move quickly.
Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone are buying classifieds group Scout24. They can’t pile much debt on it, and the return looks way off the level investors usually expect. With buckets of cash, private equity needs to do deals. Buying fast-growing targets offer a little security.
Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called a vote after separatist parties refused to support his budget. A coalition including conservatives and far-right Vox could get more done. But the parties’ hard line on Catalan independence might cause tensions to flare again.