Some moronic German with too much printed monopoly money in his pocket has decided to pay nine times revenue for Business Insider – LINK. Nine paper dollars for every paper dollar of revenue!! It brings to mind the infamous picture of the German woman using her marks to fuel her furnace:
For those who don’t know, Business Insider is the comic book version of “Wall Street News For Dummies.” If you didn’t know that it was a serious attempt at “inside Wall Street reporting,” you would have thought that it was the business section of The Onion.
Paying 9x times sales for BI has got to be one of the most retarded business deals I’ve ever witnessed. Especially since BI’s revenues are primarily derived from advertising. Who in their right mind would pay anything for a quirky, nich-focused business dependent on ad revenues when Wall Street business activity is declining quickly and the world is on the cusp of the greatest economic depression in history? Clearly Axel Springer was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and decided he needed to unload some of his pocket change.
Kudos to Henry Blodget, one of Business Insider’s founders, who has managed to bamboozle the business world again. Recall he was Merrill Lynch’s internet stock “analyst” during the tech bubble years and made his fame as Amazon’s chief snake-oil salesman. It should come as no surprise, of course, that Jeff Bezos is a 3% holder of Business Insider stock.
The earnings of the companies in the S&P 500 contracted about 1% year over year in the first half of 2015. I expect an even bigger contraction in the 2nd half. Typically, a shrewd businessman would not pay any multiple of revenues for a business with contracting earnings. An even more shrewd businessman would likely balk at paying a measurable discount to revenues for Business Insider.
This deal is nothing more than direct evidence that QE has done nothing other than trigger the biggest misappropriation of capital in history. But with ZIRP, capital free to privileged borrowers in the U.S. Worse, with NIRP all over the EU, spoiled mush-brains like Springer can actually get paid to borrow money in euros.
This is going to end very badly. As Carl Icahn said earlier today, “it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”