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February 03, 2006
Heather Divests Richie!
Business Week launches a celebrity blog!
... Actually I totally made that up. But now that I won your attention, I will say that news of the Locklear-Sambora split (the platinum goddess just doesn't age) naturally has me thinking about the recent backlash against publicly traded conglomerates. Tyco (TYC), for one, is one the brink of a breakup -- its quarterly earnings having plunged 22% and its stock price at a two-year nadir. "We believe that separation is a logical next step in Tyco's evolution," CEO Ed Breen recently said. Really? Just a few years ago, Tyco was all about stitching together all sorts of both colorful and bland parts into a fearsome Frankenstein of shareholder value creation. Cendant (CD), the acquisitive leisure and membership services conglomerate, has seen its stock tumble 30% from its 52-week high -- round-tripping back to 2003 levels.
Prediction: with so many cash flow generating divisions now in play, look for private equity players to get into the mix.
Take my hand and we'll make it -- I swear.