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Tuesday Papers: Time Warner Cable rejects $61bn bid

Tuesday Papers: Time Warner Cable rejects $61bn bid

Top stories

  • Financial Times: A battle for the future of the US cable industry burst into the open on Monday as Charter Communications went public with an offer for Time Warner Cable worth $61 billion including debt, only for its larger rival to reject its advances as “grossly inadequate”.
  • Financial Times: Japanese spirits maker Suntory Holdings has agreed to buy Beam Inc, one of the biggest names in US whiskey, in a deal valued at $16 billion including debt, underscoring the group’s global ambitions and Asia’s growing thirst for premium spirits.
  • The Guardian: German beer's status as a national treasure is under threat after four of the country's largest breweries were fined €106.5 million for price-fixing.
  • Financial Times: Google has made a bold bet on the emerging “internet of things” with the $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs, a four-year-old start-up founded by Apple veterans that makes “smart” thermostats and smoke alarms for the home.
  • Financial Times: Three former Rabobank bankers were charged by US authorities with allegedly manipulating Libor and other key benchmark interest rates as the criminal investigation widened to include another wave of individuals.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Federal Reserve officials will ask for comments on whether it should restrict the trading of physical commodities by banks, sources said.
  • The Independent: Alex Salmond claimed a victory yesterday as the Treasury pledged, in the event of a Scottish vote to leave the union, to honour all UK government debt issued up to the date of Scottish independence.
  • Financial Times: BP has said it will fight on against “inflated, exaggerated or wholly fictitious” compensation claims over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, in spite of a setback on Friday night from an appeals court ruling that rejected some of its arguments.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Standard & Poor's has upgraded the credit rating of the struggling Cooperative Bank following the £1.5 billion bailout of its troubled banking arm.
  • The Independent: Mark Higson, one of the architects of Royal Mail’s controversial stock-market flotation last October, on Monday quit his job, leading to a shake-up of the postal service’s board.
  • Financial Times: Sinopec has become the first Chinese state owned company to be publicly reprimanded following an accident that killed dozens of people in the coastal city of Qingdao.
  • Financial Times: Airbus booked gross orders for 1,619 aircraft last year, which put it ahead of Boeing, its chief rival, although the US company delivered more jets to customers in 2013.
  • Financial Times: Tony Hayward, the former chief executive of BP, is teaming up with dealmaker Ian Hannam to bail out gas-to-liquids technology company CompactGTL, sources said.
  • Financial Times: An activist investor is demanding that Juniper Networks return an additional $3.5 billion to shareholders, making it the latest technology company to attract criticism for building up a large cash pile.
  • The Independent: Derby-based Direct Help and Advice, a debt charity, has warned its future is in doubt after the Royal Bank of Scotland used stalling tactics to avoid sorting out a major mis-selling claim.
  • Financial Times: BMW and Toyota are working on a programme to jointly develop a sports car that could be powered by hybrid engines, deepening the growing alliance between the two carmakers.
  • Financial Times: Brussels has launched a full antitrust probe into how big Hollywood studios sell pay-TV rights to screen blockbuster films, raising concerns that the contracts stop EU consumers watching content across borders.
  • The Independent: The Bank of England and other financial authorities should disregard fears of regulatory "balkanisation" and take unilateral action to ensure stability within their own national jurisdictions, according to Lord Turner, the former head of the Financial Services Authority.
  • Financial Times: Activist shareholders are stepping up pressure on Darden Restaurants, owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, to squeeze value from a property portfolio they claim could be worth $4 billion.
  • Financial Times: Homeserve has been fined £34.5 million by the City regulator in a decision that the emergency repair company hopes will draw a line under a long-running mis-selling investigation.
  • Financial Times: BT has chosen the former head of HSBC’s British bank Joe Garner to oversee the vast copper and fibre network that stretches across the UK as the next chief executive of its Openreach division.
  • The Independent: GoldMoney Group, which holds $1.4 billion worth of precious metals for customers, is setting up a new business specialising in “cold” storage of Bitcoin, an increasingly popular digital currency.
  • Daily Mail: Sales at Jaeger jumped 23% in the 13 weeks to December 28, driven by a 57% boost in online sales.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Goldcorp has made a $2.4 billion unsolicited offer for a rival Canadian gold miner, in a move that shows how some miners hope to take advantage of low valuations in the sector to bolster their growth.
  • Financial Times: Amec, the oil services company, has agreed a $3.2 billion cash-and-shares offer to acquire rival Foster Wheeler in an effort to increase its exposure to growing markets.
  • Financial Times: Mike Ashley is spending about £50 million on a stake in Debenhams, the traditional high street store, which is struggling following a bold private equity play that is now unravelling.
  • Financial Times: Li Ka-shing has cut the size of the planned listing of Hong Kong’s electricity distributor Power Assets Holdings by more than $1 billion after the initial marketing phase met with weaker than expected demand.
  • Financial Times (Comment): One of Goldman Sachs’ chief strategists sees S&P 500 as overvalued.
  • The Guardian (Comment): For a few years, the UK enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime windfall – only, unlike the Norwegians, we've got almost nothing to show for it.
  • The Guardian (Comment): From the Archbishop of Westminster's better business blueprint to Al Gore's sustainable capitalism, the many new initiatives are in need of a believable narrative
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Resource nationalism fears rise as Indonesia bans exports of nickel, tin and bauxite.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The sooner deflation-hit Europe can agree on burden-sharing, the better.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Abenomics looks as if it may have helped unleash a second coming for Japanese corporate imperialism.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Time Warner Cable: The most important deal term is not absolute price but the breakdown between cash and shares.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Suntory and Beam: Japanese have been leading some of the most aggressive dealmaking of late. It just might be safe for the rest of the world to follow
  • Financial Times (Lex): Amec / Foster Wheeler: The UK engineering company has made a $3.2 billion offer for Switzerland’s Foster Wheeler, but there may be more work to do
  • Financial Times (Lex): Junk bonds: Issuers are offering buyers less protection, but prices fail to reflect this. When credit conditions become tougher, investors may pay for complacency

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