Posts tagged Financial Times
LSE: bigger data

The London Stock Exchange Group could rebrand itself as International Data Inc. In a decade, the company has gone from a local equities market to global information and services business. A deal to buy Citi’s bond index and analytics platform represents another bite of the cherry. Amid the seemingly unstoppable popularity of data-driven investment, the $685m (£530m) cash deal makes sense. Unlike LSE’s failed merger with Deutsche Börse, the purchase is unlikely to draw political heat. 

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Mondelez to buy stake in Vietnamese snack company Kinh Do

Mondelez has announced plans to buy an 80 per cent stake in Vietnamese snack company Kinh Do for $370m as the global snacks company seeks to expand its presence in the fast-growing Asian market. Tim Cofer, president for Asia-Pacific and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said the acquisition would allow Mondelez to expand its relatively small Vietnamese business by using Kinh Do’s well-established distribution network.

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Aviva sells Malaysian joint venture

Aviva said it had completed more than 90 per cent of the wide-ranging disposal plan the UK insurer launched in the summer to shore up its balance sheet after it raised a further £152m in cash by selling its Malaysian joint venture, CIMB-Aviva. Canada’s Sun Life Financial and Khazanah, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, agreed on Thursday to buy the business from Aviva and its joint venture partner, the lender CIMB. The Malaysia disposal means Aviva is on track to raise £2.5bn from a series of deals around the globe in recent months, including the sale last week of its remaining stake in Amsterdam-listed Delta Lloyd.

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San Miguel: from beer to oil

San Miguel, purveyor of one of Southeast Asia's oldest and most popular beers, is not your typical food and beverage company. Over the past two years, the group has ventured outside its comfort zone of drinks, processed foods and packaging, to make acquisitions in power, mining and tollways. The resolve of Chief Executive Eduardo Cojuangco to diversify into heavy industry and infrastructure was further underscored on Thursday with the acquisition of Exxon Mobil's downstream business in Malaysia for US$610m.

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StanChart and ANZ close in on RBS assets

Standard Chartered and Australia’s ANZ are close to buying part of RBS’s Asian banking assets in a deal that could be announced as early as next week. RBS, which reports first-half results on Friday, has been trying to sell retail assets that include 170 branches, with 28 in India and 13 in China, as it tries to shrink its balance sheet. StanChart has been interested in acquiring RBS units being sold in China, India and Malaysia, while ANZ is closing in on acquiring assets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. The assets are expected to fetch about $1bn-$1.5bn (£600m- £900m) for the stricken UK lender.

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Tui and First Choice agree merger

Tui and First Choice Holidays are to merge their tour operating business to create Europe's largest tour operator.

The deal comes just a month after MyTravel and Thomas Cook agreed to merge their operations and if completed would see Europe's four leading tour operators consolidate into two. The German-based operator, whose brands include Thomson Holidays of the UK and the European Airtours, is to take a 51 per cent stake in a business to be called Tui Travel.

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Clear Channel goes to Thomas H Lee and Bain

As private equity bid fests go, this was a big one - and by all accounts it went down to the wire. Clear Channel Communications, the advertising and radio group, announced on Wednesday that a buyout group led by Thomas H Lee Partners and Bain Capital will pay $26.7bn to take the business over. That includes taking on $8bn of debt and equates to $37.60 a share in cash.

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Nationwide/Portman

Consolidation normally holds out the prospect of improved profitability. The opposite is true in the UK mortgage market. Nationwide's acquisition of Portman propels the combined building society into the number two slot in the UK mortgage market with a share of 11 per cent. Because both are mutuals, any excess profits are returned to members in the form of lower pricing, which means the new, larger entity could intensify downward pressure on pricing. They are happy to live with a return on equity a few percentage points lower than their bank competitors. 

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Boots and Alliance UniChem to create powerful retailing concoction

When Richard Baker told investors in March that he was determined “to put the chemist back in Boots”, no-one had an inkling that a £7bn merger was the way the softly spoken chief executive intended to do it. But the tie-up between Boots and Alliance UniChem will achieve just that – and a lot more. Overnight, the proposed ‘merger of equals’ will make Boots, a retail chain of 1,400 health and beauty stores in the UK, a serious operator in the pan-European pharmaceutical wholesale and retail market.

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