Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Time Magazine's Best Lists: Worst Business Deals

I have been summarizing my thoughts on Time Magazine's Best Lists over the last several weeks and hadn't even touched their business lists. Until now. I found the magazine's Worst Business Deals" very interesting.

* The Blackstone Group going public. It looked hot after years of some rather amazing deals, but lost 38 percent of its value in no time after going public. In my experience, VC firms are the epitome of feast and famine. It isn't the kind of place one puts the family nest egg in. However, you can't count these guys out yet. The stock market is a long term game. It is only a bad deal if you cash in from the early highs.

* DaimlerChrysler pays to unload Chrysler. After an amazing array of mathematic antics, Daimler actually paid $2 billion to unload the company to Cerberus. With mathematic geniuses like this, is there any question as to why Daimler was going broke?

* Microsoft overpays for Facebook. First it was MySpace and Murdoch, then it was Google and YouTube. Microsoft simply had to get into the social networking phenomenon. The one it bought a stake in was Facebook for $240 million. The deal gives Facebook an implied value of $17 million, but is only expected to make $30 million a year. Time Magazine fears it looks like AOL a few years ago. I agree.

* KKR and Goldman Sach's pull the plug on Harman Industries International. Time notes that "Private equity shop Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group's private equity unit pulled out of their $8 billion offer to buy high-end audio equipment manufacturer Harman Industries International, claiming a "material adverse change" in Harman's business. Harman's stock plummeted more than 20%." Harsh indeed!
* Bank of America dumps $2 billion dollars into Countrywide. "Better make that $1 billion — at least that's what B of A's investment was worth as of December 1. Bank of America thought it had picked an opportune time in August to invest in Countrywide's mortgage machine, but the mortgage mess hadn't bottomed out yet." Bank of America was already limping along due to its troubling approach to providing credit to its clients. This situation only makes matters worse.

Some of these stories are not as entertaining or as sexy as some of the others covered, but their implications are far reaching financially. And they are far reaching to investors, customers, and obviously the employees

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Anonymous Winnie said...

I think some of the "hot" Internet purchases of the last year or so will be come to be seen as terrible.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worst business deals. What a list! I think there are so many changes in business today, we don't even know what the worse deals are yet. Much of this will be discovered in retrospect.

4:57 PM  

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