SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son speaks in futuristic terms about his company, but the success of his late-stage VC fund is still unknown.Technologyread more
Trump's threat, posted on Twitter, comes amid rising international tensions in the Middle East as the U.S. has dispatched a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the...Politicsread more
Reports of Tesla vehicles spontaneously catching fire could make customers wary of EVs just as the industry ramps up production plans.Autosread more
Amazon's large and flashy investments stand out from those of its tech peers over the past year.Technologyread more
Huawei Technologies will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, a source close the matter told Reuters.Technologyread more
Robert Smith announced that he and his family would set up a grant to pay off the nearly 400 graduating seniors' student loans. The total gift is estimated at $40 million.Educationread more
Trump's relationships with Deutsche Bank have drawn scrutiny in Congress and elsewhere. Trump sued the bank last month to prevent it from complying with Congressional...Financeread more
Consumer IPOs from Snap to Uber have been disappointing and serve as a reminder that private investors are making all the money.Technologyread more
China's currency has been an important barometer for progress in U.S.-Chinese trade talks, and right now it's signaling things aren't going well.Market Insiderread more
The outrage has even inspired a Change.org petition called "Remake Game of Thrones Season 8 with competent writers," with over half-a-million signatories and climbing.Entertainmentread more
The move comes after star runner Alysia Montaño's May 12 op-ed in the New York Times in which she detailed her experiences with Nike.Retailread more
Tax inversion may have dominated business news headlines for months – but that could all be about to change.
The announcement that the board of U.S. pharmaceutical group AbbVie will meet next week to "reconsider" its $54 billion offer for Shire is the most high-profile agreed deal threatened by a U.S. clampdown. Washington is working to clamp down on the controversial tax strategy which involves companies moving their headquarters overseas to avoid paying U.S. tax on overseas income.
There is still uncertainty over whether the U.S. Senate will approve the new rules proposed by the U.S. Treasury in September, which are aimed at "when possible, stopping" inversion deals – but companies are being cautious as global anger builds against tax avoidance.
This comes less than two weeks after a planned $2.7 billion deal between pharma companies Salix and Cosmo, motivated in part by the opportunity to do a tax inversion, fell through.
"There's a lot of clamps and pressure coming down on these deals," Cole Smead, portfolio manager, Smead Capital Management, which holds AbbVie shares, told CNBC.
"The inversion is not the important part of this deal, it's to do with the accretion of cash."
Shire will receive a $1.6 billion termination fee if the deal falls through - substantially higher than the $139 million average termination fee payable by acquirer so far in 2014, according to Dealogic.
One of the biggest reasons for inversion deals is that some U.S. companies have built up hefty overseas cash piles, which would be taxed both in the market they were earned, and in the U.S. if they were brought back for tax purposes. However, if they use the cash to buy an overseas company and move their tax headquarters overseas, this might yield greater returns than simply leaving it.
"When you're making 20 basis points on cash, does it really matter how low a return you get (from a deal)?" Smead asked. "The biggest thing is, can that cash get used?"
The U.S. government announced measures to crack down on tax inversion in September, after a wave of mergers and acquisitions this year, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector, were partly motivated by tax reasons. U.S. behemoths from Burger King to Pfizer are trying to cut down their tax bill by moving their headquarters overseas.
Ireland, where Shire is headquartered for tax reasons, has bowed to pressure from the U.S., Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the euro zone, with plans to close the "double Irish" tax loophole.
Savvas Neophytou, analyst at Panmure Gordon, still expects the deal to go through, as changes to U.S. law are "far from being a certainty and will likely take considerable time." However, market reaction to the AbbVie announcement suggests he is in the minority, as Shire's share price fell by 25 percent in early London trading. AstraZeneca and Smith & Nephew, two other potential targets for acquisitions partly motivated by tax reasons, were down by 3 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.