=Is Pascal Soriot a one-in-a-hundred chief executive who dares to say "no" even if fund managers are screaming at him to say "yes"? Believe it when you hear it, of course, but the chief executive of
First, he emphasised the long-term nature of drug development and pointed to
Even after a dip this week, BMS's shares have roughly doubled in four years under chief executive
BMS's revenues, like
Soriot's second point was that a director's duties go beyond consideration of the headline price of a takeover offer, especially in a deal partly backed by shares. He is clearly wary of Pfizer's strategy of splitting operations into three divisions: "The model where you would split the company in three pieces I don't think would work at all for our business."
Nor does he regard Pfizer's plan to flip its tax domicile to the
Soriot's comments could equally be interpreted as the standard dance of defiance all chief executives perform when an unsolicited bidder is at door. We have seen capitulation follow many times when the bidding hots up.
These non-executives should remember that their job is to form their own opinions and consider what's good for the company. If the non-execs want advice, they should read the stirring letter to the FT this week from Sir
=Still on the bid battle, Labour's
Wouldn't a takeover, if agreed, be done and dusted before next May's general election? Not necessarily.
The best guess in the City is that completion would take about 10 months - but that's from the point at which an agreement was reached. Next May could conceivably be relevant.
=How nice. The senior executives of Dixons Carphone were so keen to promote the idea that theirs really is a "merger of equals" that they co-ordinated their sartorial look. Neckwear, we must assume, was discarded in a symbolic "bonfire of the ties."
Will the harmony last? The odds are against. The new company will start life with an executive chairman, a brace of co-deputy chairmen, a chief executive, a deputy chief executive, and chief executives of both Dixons and Carphone.
Who is first among equals? It is surely chairman Sir
Sooner or later, one suspects, a head or two will have to roll in the interests of clean decision-making. That photo parade seemed like trying a little too hard.
=The Co-operative Group's day of decision is today and committee members should, by now, know where their duty lies. They should back the governance reforms. It is the right thing to do and the Co-op risks meltdown without fundamental change. Then the Co-op must implement the reforms without delay. Foot-dragging by the regional committees after a "yes" vote would also be highly dangerous.
Neck and neck: Dixons Carphone's team. From left,
Most Popular Stories
- 'Lucy's' Super Powers Tops 'Hercules' at Box Office
- The 2014 Fastest-Growing 100
- Vancrest Assisted Living Project to Add 20 Jobs
- The Rise and Fall of Richard Alarcon
- Fighting Blocks Investigators, Police From MH17 Crash Site
- Insecticides Permeate U.S. Food, Water Supply
- VW Site Could Mean Another 2,000 Jobs for Chattanooga
- Ford Bumps Price of New F-150
- Nissan Profits Rise on Growth in U.S., China
- U.N. Renews Demand for Gaza Cease-Fire