Reuters.com Editor, Toronto
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Aug 8, 2011
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Deals wrap: Buffett makes a bid for Transatlantic Holdings

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Shares in reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings rose more than 8 percent on Monday despite broad and deep market declines, after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made an unsolicited offer over the weekend to buy the company. The NYT looks at the chances of the deal getting done.

As broad economic worries pound the markets, a growing number of IPOs are being delayed or pulled. Tech IPOs, whose multibillion valuations recall the heady days of the dotcom boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, might fall the furthest.

Aug 5, 2011
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Deals wrap: What’s going on at Kraft?

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Kraft bought Cadbury then split in two with CEO Irene Rosenfeld at the helm. Brad Dorfman and Martinne Geller look into what exactly is going on. The WSJ provides a brief history of the company.

Kraft’s split is the latest in what is shaping up to be the year of the spin-off, and multiplying banker fees.

Aug 4, 2011
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Deals wrap: Splitting Kraft

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Kraft said it would split itself into two listed companies, a global snacks business and a North American grocery business, and raised its full-year outlook on better-than-expected quarterly results.

Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have begun talks on what would be Japan’s biggest domestic merger, three sources said, heralding a long awaited shake-up of the nation’s industrial behemoths.  Japan Real Time reports on the clumsy merger kabuki which followed a leak to local media.

Aug 3, 2011
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Deals wrap: China’s shortcut to Wall Street

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A examination of a cross-section of 122 Chinese reverse mergers on U.S. markets found that between each stock’s peak trading price and July 10, 2011, those companies saw a total of $18 billion of their market capitalization vanish. Reuters is exploring the extent and impact of corporate secrecy in the United States in a series of articles.

Expect more hostile deals in resources as cashed-up miners turn desperate to snare targets, deal advisers say, following Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal’s change of tack this week on their $5.3 billion bid for Macarthur Coal.

Aug 2, 2011
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Deals wrap: Li buys Northumbrian Water

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Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing has agreed to buy British utility Northumbrian Water Group for $3.9 billion in the biggest takeover this year of a British-listed company. Analysts at UBS predicted Li would seize other acquisition opportunities as cash-strapped investors and governments seek to cut their debt piles by selling infrastructure assets.

Japan’s Kirin is buying a controlling stake in major Brazilian beer and soft drinks maker Schincariol for $2.6 billion, making its first foray in the fast-growing South American economy.

Jul 22, 2011
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Deals wrap: Express Scripts’ CEO steps into the spotlight

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For a self-described nerdy accountant who shuns attention, Express Scripts chief George Paz just thrust himself into the limelight, reports Lewis Krauskopf. The company’s planned buy of Medco Health Solutions  met with swift opposition from consumer advocates and drug stores, signaling the beginning of what could be an ugly fight for antitrust approval.

Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, Sony Music Entertainment and Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group are among the music companies and private equity firms interested in buying EMI Group, people familiar with the situation said.

Jul 21, 2011
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Deals wrap: Express Scripts to buy Medco

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Express Scripts will buy rival Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion in cash and stock to create a powerhouse in managing prescription drug benefits in the United States, the companies said on Thursday. The WSJ live blogged the companies’ conference call on the merger.

Two Chinese Internet firms have postponed their U.S. fundraising plans due to volatile global markets and after a series of accounting scandals tarnished the reputation of overseas-listed Chinese companies.

Jul 20, 2011
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Deals wrap: Bidding for Clorox

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Carl Icahn raised his offer to buy household products maker Clorox to $80 a share from $76.50 after the company rejected his previous offer as too low and not credible.

Icahn’s bid for Clorox has “rekindled the long-running debate about whether investors benefit from Mr. Icahn’s presence,” writes the NYT’s Deal Professor.

The London Stock Exchange has boosted its chances of avoiding the clutches of predatory rival Nasdaq OMX by reporting 14 percent growth as a standalone business. The Financial News reports the LSE is on the lookout for inorganic growth.

Jul 19, 2011
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Deals wrap: News Corp in play?

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Reuters’ blogger Felix Salmon asks the question: “Could News Corp end up in play?

British group Aegis, one of the last independent advertising agencies, could fall prey to a larger rival if it sells its Synovate unit, with major shareholder Vincent Bollore in the role of kingmaker.

Jul 18, 2011
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Deals wrap: VW/Suzuki alliance shows strain

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Volkswagen sought to allay Suzuki Motor’s concerns it might overstep its bounds in a multi-billion-dollar alliance and try to bring the Japanese carmaker under its control.

State-owned People’s Insurance Company of China Group, one of the country’s largest insurers, plans to raise $5 billion to $6 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai, IFR reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the plans.