MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Back in the 1880s, horses plied the roads of London and most people lived a rural life. Jump to the 1920s and the combustion engine, electricity and the telephone had taken hold and re-shaped society. Today we are undergoing an even faster period of dramatic innovation. This has been a boon for big technology companies and their investors. For Azeem Azhar, it also represents a market failure that requires a new response.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Italy may soon jump on the weed bandwagon. A nationwide referendum to legalise cannabis will likely take place early next year. If Italian voters embrace dope, it will spark a domino effect across Europe.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - At this fall’s United Nations climate summit, world leaders will seek to take concrete steps to fight global warming. Green hydrogen could help, but it’s still too expensive. Snam CEO Marco Alvera tells Lisa Jucca why the hydrogen energy revolution is likely to surprise us all.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hollywood stardust is giving Breitling some financial sparkle. The Swiss maker of aviator timepieces touted by celebrities like Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron and Adam Driver has nearly doubled its sales on CVC’s four-year watch. The buyout firm is now considering flogging a 20% stake. Breitling’s luxury label and A-list promoters put a 3 billion Swiss franc valuation in reach.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Arnault’s final goodbye to Carrefour is overdue. The LVMH founder this week sold his remaining 5.7% stake in the 13 billion euro Gallic grocer, at one-third the likely price he paid back in 2007. It’s a rare miss for the luxury billionaire. But with supermarkets barely growing and the French government’s opposition to takeovers, moving on makes sense.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - UniCredit’s new chief executive is doing what he’s best at. Three months after taking charge of the Italian lender, veteran dealmaker Andrea Orcel is considering a takeover of troubled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The state-controlled group’s capital needs, bad debts and legal woes have scared off other suitors. Orcel’s strict conditions for the deal should help calm nervous investors.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tiffany is sparkling in LVMH’s crown. The famous U.S. jeweller, which tycoon Bernard Arnault added to his collection following a bitter $16 billion takeover last year, has bounced back from the pandemic and already appears to be more profitable than in 2019. The performance contradicts the French luxury giant’s attempt to wriggle out of the deal last year. Future LVMH targets will take notice.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Italy’s Ermenegildo Zegna is going public and going to America. The century-old maker of pricey men’s suits said on Monday it will list in New York by merging with a blank-cheque company led by former UBS boss Sergio Ermotti and private equity group Investindustrial. It’s a U-turn for the family-owned company at a time when revenue has yet to fully recover from the pandemic. At an enterprise value of $3.2 billion, it at least looks more affordable than most luxury rivals. | Video
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Atlantia’s road trip is taking a brighter turn. The infrastructure group controlled by the Benetton family is due to receive 8 billion euros of cash from the forced sale of its trouble-hit Italian motorway unit. M&A should not be the only option.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Burberry’s boss is moving from one restructuring job to another. The $13 billion maker of expensive trench coats announced on Monday that Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti would leave at the end of the year to join Salvatore Ferragamo. The Italian shoe and leather group is also badly in need of a turnaround. But Gobbetti’s sudden exit leaves the Burberry job unfinished.