Business: Postscript: Haribo to the rescue of EU budget talks
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) COMPANIES
Making sweet music with merger deals
You wait an age for a technology and media deal, and then a load of them come along at once.
Last week Parlophone, the British record label behind Coldplay, Blur and Kylie Minogue, announced that it is to become part of Warner Music in a deal worth an estimated pounds 487m. This came on top of plans for two debt-backed mega-deals. Computer maker Dell (remember them ) and cable TV group Virgin Media both said they were being bought out in deals each worth more than $20bn (pounds 12.8bn).
In Dell's case the deal on the table involves the company being bought for $24.4bn by a consortium comprising the company's founder, Michael Dell, software giant Microsoft and private equity group Silver Lake.
Meanwhile, Virgin Media is being scooped up by John Malone's Liberty Global, which has about 4.9m cable TV customers. Virgin's old losses mean that Malone's takeover will create a $28bn company, headquartered in Britain, that won't have to pay any UK tax for the foreseeable future.
But then who does, these days
Mr Seymour Pierce Welcome to America
It feels like the Big Bang all over again as one of the great City names gets snapped up by a firm of self-effacing Americans.
Cantor Fitzgerald announced on Friday it was buying "certain assets and businesses" of British small and mid-market brokerage firm Seymour Pierce, which has been around in the City for even longer than its famous chairman, Keith Harris.
The UK broker was formed 130 years ago but has been searching for new funds or a buyer for a while. Seymour Pierce's Tom Forcier will become chief operating officer of Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, although one still worries for the staff at the venerable broker. The cultures at the two firms are not exactly identical.
Who'd have thought it European Union leaders finally agreed a budget deal for the rest of the decade last Friday after a 25-and-a-half-hour negotiation session in Brussels that will lead to the first cut in EU spending in its 56-year history.
Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European council, who chaired the negotiations, does not look like the type of chap who is totally at home with social media, but in the spirit of this brave new era he broke the news on Twitter, tweeting: "Deal done! #euco has agreed on #MFF for the rest of the decade. Worth waiting for."
The euros 34.4bn (pounds 29bn) cut to the EU's credit card limit over the next seven years looks like a political coup for David Cameron - who had demanded a cut or at least a freeze in real terms in the near-euros 1 trillion budget. Still, that did not stop shadow chancellor Ed Balls attempting to take some of the credit from London, with a strained line about Labour giving the PM the mandate to ask for the cut.
Van Rompuy finally clinched the deal when he tabled a proposal at 6am. Cameron apparently sustained himself through the night with Haribo sweets and cups of Nespresso coffee. The EU must now get used to sustaining itself on slightly more meagre rations, too.
Parlophone: being swallowed by Warner.
Tweet, tweet: Van Rompuy in Brussels.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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