DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nike is putting a politically divisive foot forward. The sneaker group will feature Colin Kaepernick, the first U.S. National Football League player to kneel in protest during the national anthem, in its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary ad campaign. Companies often shy away from politics, but in the commoditized sneaker trade, it’s a risk worth taking.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Campbell Soup’s lukewarm sales pitch is begging for a real cook. The $12 billion canned food and snack company is trying to sell its fresh and international brands while stepping up cost cuts on its stagnant core business. It is leaving the door open for a sale, but that’s unlikely to appease activists like Third Point’s Dan Loeb.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - The failure of Saudi Aramco’s $2 trillion initial public offering is more a beginning than an end. On Wednesday Reuters reported that Aramco had called off the deal – which had yet to officially launch – and disbanded its army of investment bankers. They’ve been spared the need to sell an overambitious deal to unwelcoming markets. But there are plenty more Saudi deals to be done that advisers will hope can be more easily executed.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Pinterest is taking a mature approach to stock-market listings. The scrapbooking site founded and run by Ben Silbermann is one of the last social networks to tap the public markets for cash, but may do so through an initial public offering in mid-2019, CNBC reported recently. It’s probably worth $13 billion, a tad more than after a fundraising last year.
DALLAS, HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Wynn Resorts is tossing three women into an escalating boardroom brawl, adding Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb as independent directors. The $21 billion casino giant is trying to move beyond a sex scandal involving founder Steve Wynn. But his ex-wife Elaine Wynn wants a full overhaul. With a battle brewing, the new additions had best come ready to rumble.
HOUSTON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Policy tensions are curbing spirits that should be soaring in the U.S. energy sector. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will break bread with U.S. shale producers at an industry confab in Houston, Texas, this week, a sign of American wildcatters’ influence on the global market. But infrastructure bottlenecks and President Donald Trump’s new tariffs threaten to prevent drillers from taking full advantage of their clout.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - JAB and its partners are taking a gulp from 3G Capital’s fountain. They’re merging Keurig Green Mountain, the coffee-pod outfit it took private in 2016 for $14 billion, with publicly traded Dr Pepper Snapple. It’s reminiscent of how the Warren Buffett-backed architects of Kraft Heinz operate.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Carl Icahn has won his first battle with SandRidge Energy, but the war is not yet over. The oil driller has dropped its $746 million bid for rival Bonanza Creek Energy, something the activist and others wanted. But its poison pill – which bars Icahn from upping his stake and makes a takeover more difficult – remains in place.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - America is great at finding natural gas, but not so good at using it. A boom in production has made the country a net exporter of the fuel. But consumers are on pace to have used less electricity generated from gas in 2017 than they did a year earlier. Shale’s promises of “energy independence” are bumping up against policy and infrastructure obstacles.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Exxon Mobil’s climate-change U-turn deserves some wary investor cheers. The $350 billion oil firm is finally planning to comply with shareholder demands – approved more than six months ago - to disclose how global warming will affect its business. That’s to be welcomed. But Exxon’s reputation for fobbing off such concerns means investors need to not just trust, but verify.