Mario Gabelli, Gabelli Funds chairman & CEO, shares his thoughts on recent M&A activity, including AT&T and DirecTV, and Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
let’s walk through some of the deals really quickly. what do you think of at&t and directv? it’s not a deal, but they said they have been approached. 120 million households in the united states. 10 million get their video through at&t verizon. 16 million get it from the cable guys. the cable guys are merging. under 30 million at comcast. cable vacation is about three. satellite, 20 million. if you put at&t and directv, it makes a lot of sense. that doesn’t mean jurgen is out. michael white is a terrific job at directv. does it make sense? yes. will it be done? there’s a lot of talk and speculation. it has 500 million shares more or less. they have a wonderful asset in latin america. there’s a lot going on. what do you think about pfizer potentially? tpaoeuz ser a larger company. they don’t fully analyze that. we don’t have the same circle of controversy. but pfizer buying astrazeneca. first bid is low. second a little higher. they just bumped the bid this morning. a couple bucks on it, a little extra stock. pfizer is giving 25% of its pro forma to buy this. but it’s got to be done. in addition to the reverse, companies are constantly looking at the portfolio saying i need a higher return. they are splitting up the company. energizer stock went from 96 to 113 by announcing they are splitting it up. free argument on the global basis should allow that.