NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Mead Johnson
and Danone have teamed up to bid for Pfizer’s
$10 billion infant nutrition business, pitting them in a
two-horse race against Nestle in the next auction
round due March 5.
Mead and Danone have secured Pfizer’s permission to bid
together after weighting up a joint approach for several weeks
in a move to boost their firepower and allow them to overcome
antitrust concerns, sources familiar with the situation said.
NEW YORK/PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Food companies salivating over Diamond Foods Inc’s (DMND.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle potato chips will want to wait for a full examination of the company’s books to be completed, and by then Diamond may have cleaned up enough of its problems to not even put them on the table.
Those problems certainly mount up. The San Francisco-based company is mired in a federal probe into accounting for payments to walnut growers, many of whom are now so unhappy with the seller of Emerald nuts that they are considering severing ties with the company. [ID:nL2E8DAEJX] The nut business makes up more than half of Diamond’s sales.
PHILADELPHIA/NEW YORK, Feb xx (Reuters) – Jewelry store operator Zale Corp (ZLC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is on the rebound after being left by customers and shunned by vendors during the recession, and its best hope to prosper may be a marriage to larger rival Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
Zale, which operates the Zales and Gordon’s chains, has made strides in the last two years by closing unprofitable stores and adding brands like Vera Wang bridal jewelry at its venerable 88-year-old namesake chain.
NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Illumina on
Tuesday rejected as inadequate a $5.7 billion hostile takeover
bid from Roche, saying it undervalued the gene
The company also posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter
Illumina, which said Roche’s hostile bid failed to properly
value its existing and coming products, recommended that
stockholders not tender any of their shares to Roche.
PHILADELPHIA/ZURICH (Reuters) – Gene sequencing company Illumina (ILMN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) adopted a “poison pill” defense strategy against a hostile $5.7 billion bid from Swiss drugmaker Roche (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), saying it would trigger a rights agreement if any party bought 15 percent of its stock.
Illumina’s first public move since Roche announced the offer on Wednesday showed its leadership would not be easily convinced of the proposals value, especially at the current price, deal watchers said.
LOS ANGELES/PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Roche Holding AG’s (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hostile bid for Illumina Inc (ILMN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the market leader in gene sequencing technology, is likely to be a protracted battle lasting well into 2012 based on Roche’s past deal playbook and possible regulatory hurdles.
The Swiss drugmaker plans to formally launch a tender offer for Illumina by early next week at $44.50 per share, or $5.7 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. U.S.-based Illumina would have 10 days to respond.
NEW YORK/PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – As healthcare mergers go, this one is unique: Express Scripts Inc (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will not find a target in the pharmacy benefit industry anywhere near as large as Medco Health Solutions Inc (MHS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), while Medco realistically has little shot at wooing a suitor other than its chief rival.
So, if Express Scripts’ $29 billion bid for Medco is blocked by U.S. antitrust regulators, Wall Street expects the pharmacy benefit management companies will avoid a second try at a massive deal.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When it comes to healthcare deals, the new motto may be “too expensive to fail.”
Drug companies have been forced to pay massive premiums on acquisitions as the selection of target companies with viable prospects narrows and the need to fill out their portfolio of medicines intensifies, industry executives and bankers said at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference this week in San Francisco.
By Jessica Hall
(Reuters) – Several upscale U.S. brands are running the risk of slumming it as they partner with retailers that seem beneath their station, a move that threatens to cheapen the appeal and scarcity value that marks the allure of luxury.
In recent months, designers such as Vera Wang and Martha Stewart have forged unlikely partnerships with Zale Corp (ZLC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), respectively. Vera Wang on Wednesday also expanded its clothing partnership with discount retailer Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
By Jessica Hall
(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is expected to spin off its animal health business rather than trigger a tax bill through a sale, while a decision on its infant nutritionals unit is dragging on, sources familiar with the situation said.
Pfizer in July announced it was exploring options, including spin-off or sale, of the two businesses. Pfizer has said the process could take 12 to 24 months, but sources have said the timing could be on the long side.