Rodriguez key at both ends as Switzerland reaches World Cup

first_imgLATEST STORIES Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READ Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill said his team’s exit after a spirited second-half Sunday was “a devastating moment.”“It was decided by a really poor decision and a penalty that should never have been,” O’Neill said, 25 minutes after the final whistle. “We should still be playing extra time now.”“It was a privilege to be their coach and manager tonight,” said O’Neill, who shared tearful embraces with players at the final whistle.Northern Ireland came to Basel with aggression in its play that had been strangely lacking in the home leg.Still, Switzerland dominated much of the first half and should have sealed its place at a fourth straight World Cup much earlier.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Switzerland’s players Valon Behrami, Granit Xhaka and Ricardo Rodriguez, from right, celebrate winning the World Cup play-offs second leg soccer match between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, Switzerland, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP)BASEL, Switzerland — Switzerland is going to the World Cup after left-back Ricardo Rodriguez denied Northern Ireland hope in both games of their playoff at either end of the field.In each leg of Switzerland’s 1-0 aggregate win, the key incident involved one of Northern Ireland’s Evans brothers.ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene All three now have at least 50 international appearances. None had been born the last time Northern Ireland played at a World Cup, in 1986.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jimmie Johnson’s title reign ends with wreck in Phoenix Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales?center_img View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Center forward Haris Seferovic was most at fault, failing to hit the target with two first-half headed chances and a late shot lofted high over the goal.Though Petkovic declined to criticize the Benfica forward, who was booed by some fans when substituted, the coach acknowledged a regular weakness of his 11th-ranked team.“We have to be more clinical in front of goal,” Petkovic said through a translator. “We had to suffer to the end, especially with this chance Northern Ireland had.”In the first of four stoppage-time minutes, Evans rose at the far post to meet a cross that goalkeeper Yann Sommer misjudged to leave himself stranded.Rodriguez moved across the goalmouth toward the post and hooked the ball clear as he fell backward into the goal.With their spot in Russia secured, the Swiss enter the pot of second-seeded teams for the World Cup draw on Dec. 1 in Moscow.Now the challenge for arguably its most talented team in decades is to go beyond the last 16 at a major tournament.In the past five years, the Swiss impressed in qualifying but failed to beat the best teams they faced — France twice, Argentina and Poland — at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship.“We don’t really set limits for us. It could be even to the final,” said Petkovic, who should have his best players at their peak in Russia.At 26, Xherdan Shaqiri is heading to his third World Cup, while Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Rodriguez are both 25 and have matured as standouts from the 2009 Under-17 World Cup-winning team. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Switzerland needed only a draw Sunday to advance to Russia, and a tense 0-0 result in rain-soaked Basel was preserved by Rodriguez’s goal-line clearance in stoppage time from Jonny Evans’ header.“In the right moment he was in the right place,” Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said of the AC Milan defender.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogIt meant Switzerland’s disputed penalty for handball in the first-leg victory in Belfast made all the difference.Rodriguez scored that spot kick on Thursday, when Corey Evans was whistled harshly for an incident that few agreed with. Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’last_img read more

WatchHostility in the oilpatch Unsolicited takeovers are the new normal

first_img Geoffrey Morgan Join the conversation → CALGARY — Hostile takeovers were once a rarity in Calgary’s tight-knit oilpatch.But as company valuations have fallen sharply over the past year, Shane Fildes, BMO Capital Markets managing director and head of global energy, has been involved in three such deals in the past year alone.BMO acted as the financial adviser to Velvet Energy Ltd. in its unsolicited $120-million bid for Iron Bridge Resources Inc., and Ensign Energy Services Inc. in its $947-million bid for Trinidad Drilling. BMO also acted as financial adviser to MEG Energy Corp. which successfully resisted Husky Energy Inc.’s $6.4-billion offer.“That is a trend that we don’t often see. It’s not a common transaction structure in energy land. Typically, the market deals with those bid-ask spreads before they get too wide,” Fildes said. Read our entire Dealmakers 2019 series The number of hostile bids in 2018 could be a signal of an coming uptick in energy mergers and acquisitions.“We like that as a signal that potentially we have hit the bottom of the activity cycle,” Fildes said.Investment bankers and other dealmakers are hoping for more deals to be struck in 2019 after a precipitous drop in 2018. There were 98 mergers and acquisition transactions in the Canadian energy sector last year, a 21 per cent drop from the 124 announced in 2017, according to FP Data.Shane Fildes, global head of energy for BMO. Comment Courtesy MEG Energy Email The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, for example, was a major dealmaker in the energy sector in 2018, buying up renewable energy assets from pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. and providing funding for Wolf Midstream Inc. to buy pipeline assets from MEG Energy and a stake in a CO2 sequestration from Enhance Energy Inc.I could see a reason why (deal flow) would still be challenging because of all kinds of uncertaintyGMP FirstEnergy director, research Bob Fitzmartyn More “In a relatively quiet M&A year, those kinds of asset sales were among the bigger deals out there,” Ferguson said.Enbridge also sold its Canadian natural gas gathering pipelines and processing facilities to Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP for $4.3 billion.Gardner said many of those transactions were “quite well received” in the market.“The phrase you hear from investors a lot is: ‘I’m supportive of consolidation if it ticks all the boxes,’” Gardner said, adding that some deals were welcomed by investors in 2018.Deals where investors could clearly see the new company would be able to reduce costs and boost cash flow, in addition to being a larger entity with improved scale, were typically rewarded.While private equity players continue to raise and deploy capital in the sector – including New York-based KKR & Co Inc.’s funding of a new $1.15-billion Calgary-based natural gas midstream venture — it’s unclear whether broader M&A activity in the domestic oilpatch will rebound.BMO’s Fildes thinks increased financing activity is a necessary precursor to more M&A transactions — and he has yet to see a meaningful uptick in capital availability in either the debt or equity markets for the domestic energy sector.“The ability of M&A to happen is somewhat tied to equity and debt markets. We haven’t seen a lot of greenshoots on that,” Fildes said.• Email: gmorgan@nationalpost.com | Twitter: FP Dealmakers tables, including our full ranking for common share equity deals and our tables for preferred equity, structured products and government debt, as well as information about how we crunched the numbers, are available online at financialpost.com/fpstreet Reddit 4 Commentscenter_img Lorraine Hjalte/Calgary Herald The value of M&A deals fell 15 per cent to $46.7 billion, from $54.73 billion, data shows. Meanwhile, equity financings in the oilpatch plunged 88.7 per cent to $1.3 billion, from $11.5 billion in 2017.The downturn in the number of deals came despite institutional investors looking to invest in bigger and better capitalized companies.“I think the other dynamic is on the investor side, with some of the changes in the money management industry, people are really looking at the companies with scale and liquidity,” said Trevor Gardner, co-head of Canadian energy at RBC Capital Markets.“Investors are looking for bigger companies and management and boards get that,” he said.Despite investor appetite for consolidation in the sector, there are various reasons for the dizzying fall in the number of transactions over the past year, including volatile commodity prices, anemic capital markets, regulatory and pipeline uncertainty in Canada and investor attitudes that have cooled toward the country’s oil and gas sector in favour of U.S. energy companies.There were also multiple examples of companies watching their share prices drop sharply, as investors were displeased by the management’s decision to pursue a merger.When Baytex Energy Corp. announced its $2.8-billion merger with Raging River Exploration Inc. in June, both companies’ shares fell sharply. Raging River shares fell 10 per cent that day and Baytex contracted 15 per cent.Similarly, when NuVista Energy Ltd. announced in August it would pay $625 million for some of Cenovus Energy Inc.’s Montney formation assets, the acquirer’s stock dropped 10 per cent.BMO Capital Markets acted as financial adviser to MEG Energy Corp. which resisted Husky Energy Inc.’s $6.4-billion offer. “The negative reactions, quite frankly were outsized,” Fildes said. “The market cap change dwarfed the deal they were doing and you say that math doesn’t really make sense.”As a result, Fildes said that some companies chose to sit on the sidelines in 2018 as they watched their peers get punished in the market after announcing transactions. “There was definitely an element at the end of 2018 where the thought was, ‘Why would we force something into a market that’s negative?’”Part of the problem, GMP FirstEnergy director, research Bob Fitzmartyn says, is that long-only institutional investors that would normally invest in Canadian oil names when their share prices drop were either “out of bullets,” or deliberately chose to sit on the sidelines as companies’ valuations slid.“The need to see some kind of immediate accretion characteristic seems more pronounced now than in years past,” Fitzmartyn said. “Market perspective is certainly in that camp right now.”That investor sentiment continues to persist in the early stages in 2019 and that could lead to another slow year for deal flow.“I could see a reason why it would still be challenging because of all kinds of uncertainty, including (Ottawa’s legislation to change energy regulatory processes) Bill C-69 and the (federal and Alberta) elections,” he said.Gardner and Kent Ferguson, co-head of Canadian energy at RBC Capital Markets, believe that while 2018 was a slow year for deals in the oil and gas sector, there were several very active players within the industry, including financial sponsors and private equity companies.Kent Ferguson, left, and Trevor Gardner, right, co-heads of Canadian energy at RBC Capital Markets. January 30, 201912:39 PM EST Filed under News FP Street Mike Drew/Postmedia News Share this storyHostility in the oilpatch: Unsolicited takeovers the new normal in undervalued sector Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Hostility in the oilpatch: Unsolicited takeovers the new normal in undervalued sector Once a rarity in Calgary’s close-knit oil industry, the growing number of hostile bids could be a signal of M&A deals to come Facebooklast_img read more