After months of intense negotiations, China’s Alibaba Group said it has reached an agreement with Yahoo and Softbank that promises the e-commerce giant could receive up to $6 billion from an IPO or liquidation of its e-payment unit, Alipay.
Alipay is an Alibaba subsidiary that was transferred to a separate entity controlled by founder Jack Ma in order to meet Chinese regulations relating to foreign ownership. Yahoo owns 43 percent of Alibaba, which it acquired for $1 billion in 2005.
Group buying sites Groupon and LivingSocial are both in the process of launching multi-billion dollar IPOs, but as Deal Journal reports, the companies are also “plowing full steam ahead with deal making.”
Shares of Dunkin’ Brands shot up as much as 56 percent on its first day of trading, closing at $27.85 by the end of Wednesday’s trading session. The parent of the Dunkin’ Donuts chain said it has set a 20-year target to open 15,000 new stores in the U.S., up from its current 6,800. This would surpass rival Starbucks’ numbers.
There appears to be a strong demand for this week’s biggest deal. Dunkin’ Brands, the provider of sweet treats and coffee raised $422.75 million after pricing its IPO at $19 per share, well above the range set by underwriters. This gives the parent of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains a market value of just over $2.4 billion.
This slideshow in PEHUB shows who Dunkin’ Brands’ top shareholders are.
Sources say private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and BC Partners are pursuing Caterpillar’s logistics unit, a sale that could fetch more than $1 billion. In a Reuters exclusive, several people familiar with the matter said “two or three parties remain in the auction as the bidding process for Caterpillar’s third-party logistics business has reached the final round.”
Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros will be returning capital to outsiders and ending his nearly four-decade long career. In a letter to investors, Soros’ two sons cited tougher impending regulations on the hedge fund industry being the reason for returning the money. Soros said he will now only manage money for himself.
A study has found more than one-fourth of the 94 U.S. securities fraud lawsuits seeking class-action status and filed from January to June were related to so-called Chinese reverse mergers. Despite this surge in lawsuits, investors may have trouble recouping their losses even if they win.
Shareholders of Hynix Semiconductor will take final bids for a controlling stake in the South Korean memory chipmaker, said a leading shareholder. The $2.3 billion stake sale is the third attempt by creditors-turned-shareholders to find a new owner for the company.
Dutch bancassurer ING will sell most of its Latin American operation to Colombia’s GrupoSura for $3.7 billion in a deal resulting from its state rescue in 2008. This sale now paves the way for the sale of ING’s U.S., European and Asian businesses, which are worth about 18-19 billion euros.
Takeda Pharmaceutical is in talks to buy privately-held Swiss rival Nycomed for more than $12 billion, said sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Japan’s largest drugmaker is seeking to boost its presence in Europe and emerging markets, as well, the acquisition would help them gain a lung disease drug from Nycomed which has just been approved in the U.S. Japanese drugmakers have been actively pursuing acquisitions to boost growth as they face the loss of patent protection on key medicines.
A planned rescue deal involving Saab and China’s Hawtai Motor Group collapsed after it failed to get necessary approvals, leaving Saab’s owner, Spyker, chasing new funding alternatives to restart production at the Swedish automaker. Spyker said it was continuing talks with Hawtai, while a Reuters exclusive reported the Dutch sportscar-maker was also talking to another Chinese company, Great Wall Motor about a possible tie-up.
American International Group and the Treasury will sell nearly $9 billion in stock as the bailed-out insurer begins its return to public control. This offering is less than half of what had been expected when Wall Street banks offered their services to manage the stock sale in January. The company was rescued in September 2008, receiving $182 billion in bailouts and managed to restructure while preserving two core businesses. At the time, few expected AIG would even exist today.
Professional networking service website LinkedIn is looking to go public, a move that could value the company at more than $3 billion. In this article, NYT’s Steven M. Davidoff explains why certain plans LinkedIn has for its IPO would “not only disenfranchise its future shareholders, but contains elements that have been heavily criticized by corporate governance advocates.”
Microsoft plans to buy internet telephone network Skype for $8.5 billion, the biggest purchase ever for the world’s largest software company as it seeks to regain ground on growing rivals. The money-losing Skype has 145 million users on average each month and has gained favor among small business users. The deal would also give Microsoft a foothold in the potentially lucrative video-conferencing market. Skype, which is minority owned by eBay, allows people to make calls at no charge but also offers some paid features.
This article in the Guardian by Graeme Wearden asked telecoms analysts what they think about the Microsoft-Skype deal.
Glencore kept a lid on its aspirations for a much-hyped market debut, targeting proceeds of $11 billion after securing record commitments from investors. The commodities trader set a price range of 480 to 580 pence per share for the London IPO, confirming an earlier Reuters report. That values it at $61 billion at the mid-point, in line with early forecasts. Glencore is planning a dual-listing in London and Hong Kong.
Chip equipment maker Applied Materials will buy Varian Semiconductor for $4.9 billion, as it looks to maintain its edge in new chipmaking technology to meet rising demands. Applied expects to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and debt.
Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange will take their takeover bid for NYSE Euronext straight to the Big Board’s shareholders as they try to corner the company into talks. NYSE has already rejected Nasdaq and ICE’s $11 billion unsolicited offer twice in favor of a lower bid from Deutsche Boerse.
In this Reuters Dealtalk article, the reporters suggest that as deal volume and CEO confidence picks up, companies will become more daring and willing to take risks in their fight for assets. The case of Nasdaq and ICE taking their bid for NYSE hostile is a prime example of this attitude.