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April 2014

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  Current Issue    
 
April 2014
 
  Cover Story    
 

Managing corporate fraud and corruption   (view large cover)

Corrupt and fraudulent behaviour remains a significant issue for businesses worldwide. Advances in technology and globalisation mean that those committing fraud now have access to a much larger pool of potential victims, and more complex business processes make crimes easier to...

 
  Features    
 

Tech sector M&A to boom
In late February Facebook Inc announced it had agreed to acquire mobile messaging app WhatsApp in a deal worth around $19.5bn. The deal for WhatsApp represents Facebook’s largest ever acquisition and could herald the beginning of an M&A boom in the technology sector...

US retail and consumer deals insight
2013 was an encouraging year for the US retail and consumer (R&C) market. According to the PwC report ‘US Retail and Consumer Deals Insights: 2013 Year in Review and 2014 Outlook’, total deal transactions in 2013 exceeded $100bn for the first time since 2008...

Sony reorganisation gathers pace
Since Kazuo Hirai assumed the role of chief executive of Sony in April 2012, the group has undergone an extensive program of restructuring. Much like the company’s historic rivals Panasonic and Sharp, Sony has struggled to keep pace with technology heavyweights Apple and...

EU launches banking reforms
Since the financial crisis wrought havoc upon financial institutions, businesses and nations alike, there has been a concerted and controversial effort, in both the US and Europe, to reform the global banking sector. To that end, in late January the European Commission...

Chinese health and wellness market set to expand
With the expansion of the Chinese urban middle class, the Chinese health and wellness market has developed considerably in recent years. This trend is expected to continue over the course of the next five years, as the nation becomes increasingly conscious of its health...

ROUNDTABLE

Private equity
Following a disappointing 2012, the PE industry saw a stable level of deal activity in 2013, with financing largely available and a good number of deals getting done. Bank appetite to provide financing for leveraged buyouts continues to improve, and liquidity in the market is coming...

SPECIAL REPORT

Managing risk
Though there are signs of relative economic stability, risk management continues to grow in importance for businesses, investors and financial institutions. Global authorities continue to enhance their monitoring and enforcement practices, with cyber security, technology and third...

 
  Regulars    
 

DEALfront

mergers & acquisitions

Tyco International to sell unit to Carlyle for $1.96bn
Early March saw fire safety and security systems manufacturer Tyco International Ltd enter into a definitive agreement with private equity heavyweight the Carlyle Group for the divestiture of Tyco’s South Korean security business.  The deal, announced on 3...

ACCC rejects Macquarie Generation’s sale to AGL Energy
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced in March that it had blocked attempts by the government of New South Wales (NSW) to sell energy supplier Macquarie Generation to AGL Energy Ltd in a deal worth $1.34bn.  AGL, Australia’s second...

private equity & venture capital

Caesars Entertainment Corp to sell casinos in $2.2bn deal
Private equity backed Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which was known as Harrah’s Entertainment until 2010, announced in March that it would sell four of its casinos to its spinoff, Caesars Growth Partners. The sale of the resorts is the latest attempt by Caesars to get the...

UIL Holdings Corporation to buy Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.9bn
Energy company UIL Holdings Corporation announced in March that the company had agreed to acquire the assets and certain liabilities of the largest municipally owned natural gas utility in the US, the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW).  The deal for PGW is worth $1.9bn,...

bankruptcy & corporate restructuring

Mach Gen LLC files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Mach Gen LLC, a New York based electricity generator backed by a number of financial institutions including Bank of America Corp and Credit Suisse Group AG, announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.  The company filed for bankruptcy...

Sorenson Communications file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Citing depleting funding levels and mounting debts, Sorenson Communications Holdings Inc was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. In order to carry out the company’s restructuring process, Sorenson has opted for a pre-packaged Chapter 11 reorganisation...

PROFESSIONALinsight

Banking & Finance

Subprime RMBS repurchase actions may be too late
Liability for alleged breaches of representations and warranties made in connection with the issuance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) remains a concern for sellers, sponsors and other securitisation participants. As so-called ‘forensic analyses’...

Continued bank mis-selling is likely without a change in approach
Financial services firms are fighting to regain global trust and regulators are resolute in the view that businesses need to work harder to regain consumer confidence. The industry still has issues with suitability and although many banks have withdrawn their advice offering, there...

Professional negligence within the financial sector
In the context of the economic catastrophe of recent years it is hardly surprising that there has been a surge in claims for negligence against some of the brightest professionals in the British Isles. The financial sector has not escaped. Bankers, brokers, investment advisers,...

The postman rings twice for Madoff victims; for some, too late
The deadline for applications to the Madoff Victim Fund (MVF), a US government initiative to distribute $4bn among investor victims of the Madoff case, is 30 April. The $4bn, derived from the forfeiture actions associated with the crimes, will be used to compensate the many...

LEGAL&regulatory

Bankruptcy & Restructuring

The prevalence and utility of ‘roadmap’ decisions in bankruptcy mega-cases
Likewise, in the Pinnacle Airlines matter, Judge Robert E. Gerber denied the debtors’ motion to reject a collective bargaining agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) on narrow grounds but simultaneously provided a clear path for the debtors to...

The unique role of the monitor in Canadian restructurings
The mandatory court appointment of a ‘monitor’ in Canadian proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) represents a policy approach to restructurings that has material benefits if utilised thoughtfully. A monitor is...

Business rescue – companies starting to rise from the dead
South Africa has slowly but surely taken its first steps since its infant phase after incorporation of business rescue legislation in Chapter 6 of the Companies Act, Act 71 of 2008, during May 2011 (‘Business rescue’). Business rescue legislation in South Africa...

Fraud & Corruption

A sea change in the prosecution of corporate economic crime?
In recent years, policymakers, practitioners, the press and the public have debated how corporations can be held accountable for economic wrongdoing. Increasing emphasis has been placed on bringing criminal prosecutions to act as a deterrent to firms tempted to sacrifice principles...

Third party liability in global transactions in light of the FCPA
Multinational companies initiate business transactions in different parts of the globe, dealing with different business cultures and rules. In order to diligently pursue business in these foreign business environments, multinational companies often retain the services of third party...

SPOTlight

Mergers & Acquisitions

Negotiating working capital adjustments in private M&A transactions
Most private company acquisition agreements contain working capital adjustment provisions to ensure that the purchased business has an appropriate level of working capital. While working capital adjustments may take many forms, there are certain provisions that must be carefully...

Private Equity

Managing ‘expectations’ – asset management for private equity in Indian real estate
With the benefit of hindsight, private equity’s involvement in Indian real estate can distinctly be seen as a story of two halves. The first was an outburst phase characterised by the heady days of 2006-08 leading up to the global financial meltdown of 2008 and its immediate...

Risk Management

Internet governance under attack: what’s happening and why business should care
While most businesses are busy dreaming up new and creative ways they can exploit the internet to reach customers, very few pay any attention to how the internet works or to how, or by whom, the internet is governed. They know it’s there; and for them, that’s enough. But...

EXCLUSIVE ONLINE CONTENT

TalkingPoint

Valuations and fairness opinions for ESOPs
FW moderates a discussion on valuations and fairness opinions for ESOPs between Jeffrey S. Buettner, a managing director at Butcher Joseph Hayes, and Kenneth E. Serwinski, chief executive officer at Prairie Capital Advisers, Inc.

Shale gas in the UK
FW moderates a discussion focussing on shale gas in the UK between Elizabeth Shepherd, an environment partner at Eversheds, Robert Hodges, a director at EY, and Nick Grealy, director of No Hot Air...

ExpertBriefing

Shareholder and other third party liability in bankruptcy cases in Argentina
In Argentina, bankruptcy proceedings are governed by Law No. 24,522, as amended (the Argentine Bankruptcy Law or ABL). Immediately after the adjudication of bankruptcy (proceedings that involve the dissolution and liquidation of the debtor´s business), the court appoints a...

Refinancings and consensual restructurings in Finland
In the current economic climate, the number of debtors experiencing difficulties in servicing their loans is increasing. In many cases, the debtors’ businesses have not developed favourably and a number of banks are unwilling to take on significant new risk...

Ireland’s continued growth in the aviation sector
Ireland is one of the leading locations in the world for all forms of aircraft finance and leasing activities. This is due to Ireland’s very favourable tax environment, its long and successful tradition in the aviation industry, and the required skills, knowledge and expertise...

Huyen Nhu – VietinBank and the test to secure private interests
The court case of Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu and VietinBank recently ended at the first stage, with a relatively uncontroversial verdict on criminal penalties imposed against Huyen Nhu and other accused members.However, the claim for exemption from indemnification obligations by...

Self-laundering and the impact on a company’s model of organisation, management and control
In recent years issues around money laundering and the reuse of ‘dirty money’ have intensified due to their impact on the market and on free economic development.  The Italian Legislator has introduced a regulatory system based on double-track provisions...

Using insurance wrappers for asset protection and tax planning
In this article we provide a brief summary of the advantages associated with the use of insurance wrappers for both asset protection and tax planning purposes. Such advantages became even more relevant in light of the recent change in the Israeli Tax Ordinance-1961 (Ordinance)...

Proposed expansion of the covered business method review program
In recent years, the United States Congress has enacted legislation to curb abuses by patent-assertion entities (or patent trolls). Some believe that Congress has not gone far enough. But a proposed provision regarding business-method patents has created concern that Congress may go...

False advertising challenges in the US: a potential alternative to courtroom litigation
Advertisers want a level playing field on which they can compete. Businesses that advertise in the United States are frequently troubled by the advertising practices of their competitors. These responsible businesses know that their competitors have crossed the line in making claims...

Shareholder arbitration: a comparison of American and Brazilian systems
The United States and Brazil have very different systems governing shareholder arbitration. The systems are so distant from each other that a comparative analysis should help reveal advantages and risks to be mutually considered.  In the US, shareholder arbitration...

Application of new EU rules concerning restrictions of hazardous substances (RoHS) to medical devices
The new European Union (EU) RoHS Directive (Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment), commonly referred to as ‘RoHS 2...

Tax as a means to control Mexico’s health sector
Over the last several years, the Mexican government has paid special attention to certain human health matters, resulting in much stricter regulation of most products intended for human consumption, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food, dietary supplements, beverages and...

 
 
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