OLD Media Moves

Eavis: Why covering M&A is no longer boring

June 14, 2019

Posted by Chris Roush

Peter Eavis

New York Times business reporter Peter Eavis, who once thought covering mergers and acquisitions was boring, has changed his opinion.

Eavis writes, “But when a big deal comes up, reporters might best serve readers by looking closely at whether it will hurt competition, squelch innovation or have other ill effects. The days of relying on the insights of stock analysts and investors, who are typically much more focused on whether the merger will bolster the stock price, are over.

“Take the merger announced last weekend by Raytheon and United Technologies, which would create a military and aerospace behemoth. Few on Wall Street thought that the deal might face resistance from the government, because the companies’ businesses hardly overlap. But Mr. Trump was quick to question the deal, and legal scholars I spoke to identified ways in which the merger might hurt innovation. Their concern: Over time, the Pentagon, a huge customer, may get less advanced weapons and systems than if Raytheon and United Technologies had remained independent.

“To their credit, chief executives seem to be learning that they now have to sell their deals beyond Wall Street. ‘This is over all a great play for the United States of America,’ Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon’s chief executive, told CNBC last week.

“Reporters I know will love this shift. Business reporting is often most thrilling when we can show how powerful forces in the economy touch the lives of ordinary people. I now see what my colleagues saw long ago. Deals are far from boring.”

Read more here.

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