It appears to be game, set, match to Mitsui on news of an irrevocably accepted offer for the controlling majority of shares in Portek, although last we heard from ICTSI it was still “studying” its options – presumably, studying how it was made to look so foolish by Mitsui just one day after pitching shareholders to sell them their stock.

A Massive Poker Game

Mitsui isn’t a clear “winner” here. As they say in poker, if you don’t know who the “fish” is, you’re probably it. Already Mitsui is saying that paying this price will only make sense if Mitsui can make decent efficiency improvements; we shall see later that this will be very difficult indeed. The poker analogy also helps give context to the Bloomberg article linked to above: Mitsui is flush with $18 billion of cash, against which the Portek market cap of $200m looks puny. Mitsui is “loose” and …