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Posts Tagged ‘balancesheet restructuring’

Here is some good market analysis from The Reuters Blog – Dealzone.

“Like SocGen before them, UBS strategists are looking forward to a pickup in M&A next year.

“We expect 2009 to mark the trough in global M&A transactions and for activity to pick up in 2010 and beyond. For FY2010, globally we expect M&A activity in the region of $2.5-2.7trl, an increase of 15% on current annualised run rate for 2009 and close to levels last seen in mid 2004-05. The biggest driver of an increase in activity is likely to be the increase in risk appetite in equity markets and in the boardroom, a return to earnings growth and profitability by World Inc and a backlog of pending asset disposals.”

“Credit conditions are also supportive and we expect private equity and bank lending to pick up at some point next year.”

“We do think investors can take advantage of the growing interest in M&A as the likelihood of deals gets priced into stocks. The average take-out premium historically has been 30-40%, much of which is earned around the announcement of a deal. Merger arbitrage post bid announcement has earned a levered IRR around of 9% this year.”

“Despite a 27% decline in global M&A activity in 2009, deal volumes in Asia remained strong. At the current run rate, 2009 activity in the region will be up on 2008, taking APAC’s share of global M&A to 25%, from 6% in 1995. A meaningful pick-up in global activity in 2010 will require a rebound from trough deal volumes this year in the Americas and Europe.”

Read the full story here.

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As Facebook secured some investments earlier this year, and invested it towards international growth, the latest news spark renewed IPO rumors.

Of course, no one knows, but the hiring of a CFO from a larger corporation is nothing you do unless you have greater plans. First and foremost, it costs you a bunch of money, secondly, the demands this person has on you by his experience will force the structure needed upon you.

The biggest challenge remains though – to create profitability.

Here is a quoted article from BusinessWeek.

“In April, when Facebook announced the departure of Chief Financial Officer Gideon Yu, the social network said it would look for a replacement “with public company experience.” Facebook found what it was seeking in David Ebersman, a 15-year veteran of biotech pioneer Genentech (DNA).

“David [Ebersman] worked at one of the most innovative and respected [companies] in the world, so he brings a lot to the table when it comes to our efforts to build a lasting, important company,” Facebook spokesman Larry Yu says of the appointment, announced on June 29.

Ebersman’s appointment keeps alive speculation over whether and how soon the world’s biggest social network is headed for an initial public share sale. “We have no plans to go public,” says spokesman Larry Yu. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted in May saying an IPO remains “a few years out.”

Ebersman, 38, served as Genentech’s CFO for the four years leading up to its $46.8 billion sale to drug giant Roche Holding (ROG) in May. In Facebook’s press release, CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that under Ebersman, Genentech’s revenue tripled. Zuckerberg envisions high growth for his company as well, saying sales will rise 70% this year. (eMarketer has projected that Facebook’s revenue will grow 20% this year, to $300 million.)”

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Here is an analysis by John Mauldin at InvestorInsight. It was originally published as a special series at Stratfor.

John Mauldin is president of Millennium Wave Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Investment recommendations may change and readers are urged to check with their investment counselors before making any investment decisions. Opinions expressed in these reports may change without prior notice. John Mauldin and/or the staff at Millennium Wave Advisors, LLC may or may not have investments in any funds cited above. Mauldin can be reached at 800-829-7273.

This information is not to be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

“Dear Friends: One of the first things you learn about analyzing a company is how to dissect a balance sheet. What assets and liabilities can be deployed by a company to create equity over time? I’ve enclosed a fascinating variant on this process. Take a look at how STRATFOR has analyzed the “geographic balance sheets” of the US, Russia, China, and Europe to understand why different countries’ economies have suffered to varying degrees from the current economic crisis.

As investors, it’s precisely this type of outside-the-box thinking that can provide us profitable opportunities, and it’s precisely this type of outside-the-box thinking that makes STRATFOR such an important part of my investment decision making. The key to investment profits is thinking differently and thinking earlier than the next guy. STRATFOR’s work exemplifies both these traits.

I’ve arranged for a special deal on a STRATFOR Membership for my readers, which you can click here to take advantage of.  Many of you are invested in alternative strategies, but I want to make sure that you also employ alternative thinking strategies. So take a look at these different “country balance sheets” as you formulate your plans.
Your Mapping It Out Analyst, John Mauldin

The Geography of Recession

The global recession is the biggest development in the global system in the year to date. In the United States, it has become almost dogma that the recession is the worst since the Great Depression. But this is only one of a wealth of misperceptions about whom the downturn is hurting most, and why.As one can see in the chart, the U.S. recession at this point is only the worst since 1982, not the 1930s, and it pales in comparison to what is occurring in the rest of the world.

(Figures for China have not been included, in part because of the unreliability of Chinese statistics, but also because the country’s financial system is so radically different from the rest of the world as to make such comparisons misleading. For more, click here.)

But didn’t the recession begin in the United States? That it did, but the American system is far more stable, durable and flexible than most of the other global economies, in large part thanks to the country’s geography. To understand how place shapes economics, we need to take a giant step back from the gloom and doom of the current moment and examine the long-term picture of why different regions follow different economic paths.

The United States and the Free Market

The most important aspect of the United States is not simply its sheer size, but the size of its usable land. Russia and China may both be similar-sized in absolute terms, but the vast majority of Russian and Chinese land is useless for agriculture, habitation or development. In contrast, courtesy of the Midwest, the United States boasts the world’s largest contiguous mass of arable land — and that mass does not include the hardly inconsequential chunks of usable territory on both the West and East coasts. Second is the American maritime transport system. The Mississippi River, linked as it is to the Red, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, comprises the largest interconnected network of navigable rivers in the world. In the San Francisco Bay, Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound/New York Bay, the United States has three of the world’s largest and best natural harbors. The series of barrier islands a few miles off the shores of Texas and the East Coast form a water-based highway — an Intercoastal Waterway — that shields American coastal shipping from all but the worst that the elements can throw at ships and ports.

The real beauty is that the two overlap with near perfect symmetry. The Intercoastal Waterway and most of the bays link up with agricultural regions and their own local river systems (such as the series of rivers that descend from the Appalachians to the East Coast), while the Greater Mississippi river network is the circulatory system of the Midwest. Even without the addition of canals, it is possible for ships to reach nearly any part of the Midwest from nearly any part of the Gulf or East coasts. The result is not just a massive ability to grow a massive amount of crops — and not just the ability to easily and cheaply move the crops to local, regional and global markets — but also the ability to use that same transport network for any other economic purpose without having to worry about food supplies.

The implications of such a confluence are deep and sustained. Where most countries need to scrape together capital to build roads and rail to establish the very foundation of an economy, transport capability, geography granted the United States a near-perfect system at no cost. That frees up U.S. capital for other pursuits and almost condemns the United States to be capital-rich. Any additional infrastructure the United States constructs is icing on the cake. (The cake itself is free — and, incidentally, the United States had so much free capital that it was able to go on to build one of the best road-and-rail networks anyway, resulting in even greater economic advantages over competitors.)

Third, geography has also ensured that the United States has very little local competition. To the north, Canada is both much colder and much more mountainous than the United States. Canada’s only navigable maritime network — the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway —is shared with the United States, and most of its usable land is hard by the American border. Often this makes it more economically advantageous for Canadian provinces to integrate with their neighbor to the south than with their co-nationals to the east and west.

Similarly, Mexico has only small chunks of land, separated by deserts and mountains, that are useful for much more than subsistence agriculture; most of Mexican territory is either too dry, too tropical or too mountainous. And Mexico completely lacks any meaningful river system for maritime transport. Add in a largely desert border, and Mexico as a country is not a meaningful threat to American security (which hardly means that there are not serious and ongoing concerns in the American-Mexican relationship).

With geography empowering the United States and hindering Canada and Mexico, the United States does not need to maintain a large standing military force to counter either. The Canadian border is almost completely unguarded, and the Mexican border is no more than a fence in most locations — a far cry from the sort of military standoffs that have marked more adversarial borders in human history. Not only are Canada and Mexico not major threats, but the U.S. transport network allows the United States the luxury of being able to quickly move a smaller force to deal with occasional problems rather than requiring it to station large static forces on its borders.Like the transport network, this also helps the U.S. focus its resources on other things.”

John F. Mauldin
johnmauldin@investorsinsight.com

Read more here.

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Big customers, a top-flight engineering staff and $110 million in venture backing was not enough to save Hammerhead Systems Inc., a data-switching company that closed its doors on Thursday.

“We were in a Catch-22 situation, and we are a casualty of the economy,” said Rob Keil, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s chief executive.

Hammerhead planned to sell its Ethernet aggregation switches to major telecom carriers and had inked major deals with two of them, Keil said. But to continue, the company needed to enlist more carriers as customers, something that proved tricky in the current economic climate.

“We had them excited about our technology,” Keil said, “but they wanted to get the financial viability issue off the table. The carriers liked the product and the team, but they needed us to have a partner…for financial stability. It just wasn’t possible to get the carriers comfortable.”

Partnering with a name-brand networking hardware company might have catapulted Hammerhead to success, he said. “But as the economy melted down, the prospective partners became risk-averse,” Keil said.

Keil could not disclose which hardware companies Hammerhead approached, or which two carriers had agreed to buy the company’s switches.

Hammerhead made a data switch that routs information for carriers. The switches collect data circuits from the carriers’ customers, aggregate them, and rout them back to the operators’ core networks. This process, said company spokeswoman Mari Mineta Clapp, enables carriers to use much of their aging equipment to keep up with the demands of today’s smart phone traffic, including backhaul and Ethernet functionality needs.

Read the full WSJ article from By Timothy Hay here

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