Heineken has rejected an approach from SABMiller. Is this a cue to the one last big round of beer market consolidation which M&A bankers are (unsurprisingly) often rather keen to talk up? Who would be involved — and exactly where would shareholder value come from?  Read more

See you at 1pm (London time) on Monday, when Lex will be discussing brewer M&A in one of our new open-note formats on this blog. (It’s like Alphaville’s Markets Live.)

The trigger is Heineken’s rejection of an approach from SABMiller. We however are more interested in that one last big round of beer market consolidation which M&A bankers are (unsurprisingly) often rather keen to talk up. Who would be involved — and exactly where would shareholder value come from? Read more

It’s sad to see any business file for administration.

Still, with the fall of Phones4U, you could argue that the days of independent phone shops acting as middlemen between networks and customers had long been numbered (if there are going to be shops, the networks want to run them themselves). Any company which relies on four big suppliers is at risk in any case: this is what has ultimately sunk Phones4U, after Vodafone and EE at last pulled out.

Though did anyone tell high yield bond investors? Read more

Or, why it isn’t surprising at all that RBS and Lloyds would move their respective holding companies to the UK, probably overnight, if Scotland voted to become independent. Despite the odd packaging of this as news by the UK press.

It’s the emergency liquidity (or ELA). Click chart to enlarge: Read more

Not that negative zone – Europe: Read more

RBS posted surprisingly high profits on Friday — with shares in the UK bank rising 14 per cent. But what caused it: a decline in impairments, or better top-line growth? Lex discusses that question, and how to value the bank now.

This is a live format in which we’ll share our thoughts on a note we’re writing in real-time, and readers will be able to weigh in too on the right. So don’t be shy!  Read more

See you at 12pm (London time), when we’ll be doing an open note on RBS and its surprisingly good preliminary results for the first half of the year…

 Read more

We’re not sure how to complete the joke.

After all, we recently argued that Fiat Chrysler might combine with a Japanese name to become the global carmaker it wants to be. Getting to 7m cars by 2018 (from under 5m last year) is not going to happen under Fiat’s own steam or financial state. And we took it as given that Sergio Marchionne wants to do another big deal.

We didn’t consider Peugeot though. It’s an idea which has done the rounds in the financial houses of Paris before (in 2009 and 2012) but never happened.

Ah, well. As our colleagues Henry Foy, Arash Massoudi and Michael Stothard report on Thursday… Read more

Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Mistrals…

That’s one Twitter parody (of Charles de Gaulle, and a certain pair of French warships) we’ve liked about European objections to increasing sanctions on Russia. Read more

The UK’s biggest retailer has replaced its CEO with a Unilever executive – and has made another profit warning. Lex discusses what Tesco can do now.

This is a live format in which we’ll share our thoughts on a note we’re writing in real-time, and readers will be able to weigh in too on the right. So don’t be shy!  Read more