Posted by Rick Stine
on August 17, 2010
To hear those folks at Potash Corp. tell the story, all they are trying to do is protect their shareholders from a bunch of predatory goons who don’t know how to value Potash. And to make it even more difficult for those goons to harm Potash shareholders, the company will enact a rights plan making an unsolicited offer very, very difficult.
BHP Billiton offered to spend $38.56 billion to purchase Potash – an offer that Potash, one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, said would price Potash at “significantly less than intrinsic value.” Apparently the goons aren’t the only ones who don’t know the intrinsic value of Potash – investors don’t either.
The offer sent Potash’s shares soaring well above the $130 per share offer – at $143.17 the market is saying it expects someone to make a higher bid. This blogger certainly doesn’t know the value of Potash in the future (something Potash says the BHP offer ignores). But I do know this – the BHP bid added more than $9 billion of value to shareholders today.
Potash’s board and management should stop trying to protect shareholders from themselves and let the true owners of the company decide what they want to do.
Posted by Rick Stine
on July 27, 2010
It’s been nearly a decade since Pepsico bought Quaker Oats. So, Dow Jones Newswires reporter Anjali Cordeiro decided to take a look back at how successful the acquisition has been. Her verdict – the oat cereal business for Pepsi has been soggy at best.
Part of what has hurt the business, she reports, is that during the recession, consumers went for lower costing brands. But also, the company has acknowledged that it has under-invested in the business.
I have a simple solution for Pepsi – buy the rights to the recipe for Post Fortified Oak Flakes from Post Foods LLC, the company that is the latest iteration of original Postum Foods. Somewhere along the line, a decision was made to discontinue the Post Fortified Oat Flakes. In this bloggers view, that was a huge mistake. These oat flakes were the tastiest cereal ever made. And healthy at that. So, Pepsi, an easy way to get a hit back on your hands is to resurrect this wonderful, old cereal!
And apparently others feel the same way about Post Fortified Oat Flakes. It comes in number 9 in a survey of the top 100 all-time favorite cereals. Click here to see the other cereals on that list.
Posted by Gabriella Stern
on August 07, 2009
DJN has just reported that the Obama administration is looking into supposed anti-competitive issues in the agribusiness industry. Government officials will hold “listening” sessions across the countryside as they examine whether purported concentrations of farm-related businesses violate antitrust laws. ” The WSJ’s Scott Kilman reports on our wires: “Philip J. Weiser, a telecommunications law expert who was recently named deputy assistant attorney general, told a farmer gathering here that federal antitrust regulators are ‘committed to examining’ the level of competition in several agribusiness sectors, such as marketing of genetically modified seeds, dairy processing and meatpacking.” This is the latest in a litany of business practices and alliances Obama’s Department of Justice is reviewing. Some are less spurious-sounding than others; or to put it another way, some issues cry out for antitrust probes; some don’t. Take agribusiness. Exactly who’s getting hurt by the structure and composition of U.S. agribusiness? Not consumers. Americans have enjoyed gloriously low food prices for years. But of course it’s not supermarket patrons the DOJ’s worried about. It’s family farmers – moms, pops and kids living on farms in the midwest, Great Plains and South who have trouble making a living while seed, grain, dairy and livestock distributors and processors rake in all the dough. The Jeffersonian strain in our country’s collective consciousness means every few years we wring our hands over the plight of the family farmer. We need to get over it. The U.S. (and European) contemporary economy just can’t support and sustain small farms without massive taxpayer subsidies. This has been the case for at least 25 years. Continue reading…