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Chris Hughes

Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.

Twitter handle: @jeffmason1

Feb 02 2015

CRH’s $7.4 bln buy reveals M&A tolerance

It’s a big bet. The Irish building group will increase leverage – even with a big equity issue – to buy surplus assets from Lafarge worth a third of its market cap. CRH got sucked into an auction too. Yet investors cheered. It’s how things work in a low-return, low-growth world.

Feb 02 2015

Breakingviews: CRH's $7.4 bln buy reveals M&A tolerance

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Here is a deal with all the red flags of M&A - ambition, leverage and a jumbo share placing. Yet the market is spurring on CRH's 6.5 billion euro ($7.4 billion) purchase of surplus assets from European cement rivals Lafarge and Holcim. The traditional criteria for judging such deals don't apply.

Dec 17 2014

Breakingviews: WPP chair should be vertical as well as horizontal

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters Breakingviews) - WPP may have found a much-needed counterweight to Martin Sorrell. The ad group's chief executive is getting a new chairman in the form of industrialist Roberto Quarta. Sorrell says Quarta will help deliver WPP's strategy, which includes a drive for greater "horizontality" - WPP-speak for operational seamlessness. But the new chair needs to make it clear early on that his location relative to Sorrell is more vertical than horizontal.

Dec 08 2014

Saint-Gobain’s deal cunning could backfire

The French materials group is seizing control of Swiss peer Sika by paying $2.8 bln for a minority family stake which has majority voting rights. Sika’s board is laudably indignant. And Saint-Gobain’s tactics have a hidden cost of upsetting other investors and the target’s staff.

Dec 02 2014

Breakingviews: Market too cool on Aviva-Friends tie-up

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors are being too cool about Aviva's agreed takeover of Friends Life . Given the history of value destruction in UK life insurance M&A, scepticism is warranted. Still, it's hard to see this combination being worth less than the sum of the parts.

Nov 25 2014

Private equity shows signs of pre-crisis brio

Canada’s Onex has bought Swiss packager SIG for up to $4.7 bln in a secondary buyout. It’s one of Europe’s biggest LBOs in five years and deploys pre-crisis levels of leverage. Private equity restlessness and a shortage of big targets created the conditions for a landmark deal.

Nov 21 2014

Pru’s lesson for investors: trust animal spirits

The UK insurer’s stock hit a record this week, leaving rival Aviva trailing in its wake. It is a painful reminder of how Aviva lost out by failing in its attempt to buy Pru in 2006. The main reason there was no deal? The bidder lacked investor support to pay a fair premium.

Nov 21 2014

Pru’s lesson for investors: trust animal spirits

The UK insurer’s stock hit a record this week, leaving rival Aviva trailing in its wake. It is a painful reminder of how Aviva lost out by failing in its attempt to buy Pru in 2006. The main reason there was no deal? The bidder lacked investor support to pay a fair premium.

Sep 24 2014

Tesco chairman should step aside

Richard Broadbent will struggle to restore market confidence in the UK retailer. This week’s accounting scandal compounds existing concerns about his period at the helm. The priority should be an orderly handover to the right successor. But speed matters too.

Sep 22 2014

Tesco chairman approaches his sell-by date

The UK retailer’s warning that guidance was overstated by 250 mln stg reflects a serious controls failing. Chair Richard Broadbent recently delivered a new CEO, but has been slow to fix the board. His own lack of retail experience is starting to look like a drawback.

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