Karen Kwok

Rapid grocery delivery will keep investors waiting

Oct 19 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Startup investors are subsidising consumers’ cravings for wine and ice cream. Companies trying to ferry such goodies to doorsteps in 15 minutes or less face a hard enough task. Delivering a profit on top is harder still.

Breakdown: Buy Now, Pay Later’s bill is coming due

Oct 14 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - What do Goldman Sachs, Square, PayPal and Amazon.com have in common? They all agree that buy-now-pay-later lending is the credit card of the next generation. The short-term financing tool is shaking up how consumers buy online, prompting established lenders to scramble to catch up with industry upstarts. Meanwhile, regulators are worrying about an explosion of unsustainable debts. Breakingviews explains how the bill is coming due.

Federer’s sneaker IPO sets blistering pace

Sep 16 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - On has burst out of the IPO blocks at a blistering pace. Shares of the Roger Federer-backed Swiss sneaker company popped 50% on debut in New York on Wednesday, giving it an $11 billion valuation. With plenty of rivals on its heels and potential political headwinds in China, it may be priced for a sprint, not a marathon.

Review: WeWork’s debacle had many enablers

Aug 06 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - When WeWork’s much-hyped office-sharing edifice started crumbling in 2019, founder Adam Neumann was the obvious person to blame. In “The Cult of We: WeWork and the Great Startup Delusion”, Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell portray the ambition and recklessness of the Israeli entrepreneur with great detail and colour. But the authors’ main achievement is to subject Neumann’s many enablers – investment bankers, fund managers, venture capitalists and the media among them – to proper scrutiny.

Klarna’s list of suitors may not be that extensive

Aug 04 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Klarna is suddenly in the checkout shopping cart. Following the $29 billion acquisition of Australian payment company Afterpay by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Square, those looking to get into the fast-growing buy-now-pay-later sector will now be eying the Swedish group and U.S. rival Affirm. Yet the list of genuine suitors may not be excessively long.  

UK credibility on China inward M&A gets wafer-thin

Jul 08 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s policy on Chinese inward M&A is all over the place. As the world’s governments scramble to safeguard their manufacturing capacity amid a global semiconductor shortage, the UK was on the cusp of waving through the sale of its biggest microchip factory to Dutch firm Nexperia, a subsidiary of $19 billion Shanghai-listed chipmaker Wingtech Technology, without even a review. It has now changed its mind, but the damage is already done. 

Just Eat Takeaway risks heartburn with U.S. deal

Jun 16 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The enlarged Just Eat Takeaway.com is not yet appetising for investors. The Dutch food delivery company on Tuesday completed the $7.5 billion takeover of stateside rival Grubhub, its second big bite in just over a year. Boss Jitse Groen has repeatedly outmanoeuvred rivals in Europe. But he is starting from a weaker position in the United States.

Oatly IPO pumps fresh air into plant-based stocks

May 21 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oatly often boasts its oat milk is particularly good for producing froth. The Swedish company has the same effect on investors. Shares in the maker of oat-based dairy substitutes opened 30% above their initial public offering price of $17 on Thursday, valuing it at around $13 billion. That should lure other purveyors of plant-based foods to the stock market.

EQT pays an electrifying price for U.S. bus ride

Apr 23 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - EQT is taking an unusually expensive bus ride. The Swedish buyout group’s infrastructure arm on Friday said it would pay $4.6 billion including debt to buy two North American businesses from transport operator FirstGroup. The deal, which includes the iconic U.S. yellow school bus network, requires an electric boost before EQT can make serious money.

Oatly’s IPO health depends heavily on China

Apr 20 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oatly is soaking itself in China in more ways than one. The Swedish company that makes milk out of porridge oats on Monday filed for an initial public offering in the United States. Prospective investors will have to weigh up the benefits and potential downsides of its relationship with state-owned backer China Resources.

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