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Mar 22, 2011

Sanofi, Merck abandon animal health joint venture

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Regulatory pressure prompted Sanofi-Aventis and Merck & Co to abandon plans for a joint animal health powerhouse with $5 billion in sales.

The move sets back the French and U.S. drugmakers’ plans to achieve economies of scale in the consolidating animal care industry, and comes a month after they delayed the long-running deal’s closing by another six months.

Mar 21, 2011

Takeover Panel nears tougher M&A rules

LONDON (Reuters) – The Takeover Panel moved closer to adopting tougher merger rules, despite opposition from private equity firms and others who argue the watchdog’s new regime throws up too many obstacles to takeovers.

The panel’s proposals, first outlined in October, are meant to give hostile bidders less sway and to allow boards to give more weight to the views of employees and other stakeholders.

Mar 21, 2011

UK nears tougher M&A rules despite buyout lobbying

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s Takeover Panel moved
closer to adopting tougher merger rules, despite opposition from
private equity firms and others who argue the watchdog’s new
regime throws up too many obstacles to takeovers.

The panel’s proposals, first outlined in October, are meant
to give hostile bidders less sway and to allow boards to give
more weight to the views of employees and other stakeholders.

Mar 21, 2011

Glencore top brass courts U.S. investors: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore’s GLEN.UL top management, led by chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, is starting several days of meetings with big U.S. fund managers who could support its flotation, two people familiar with the matter said.

The meetings highlight how the world’s largest commodity trader is continuing intensive preparation for a possible listing in London and Hong Kong, despite market turmoil scuppering share issues across the world.

Mar 21, 2011

Shipbuilder IHC seeks new capital to fund takeovers

LONDON (Reuters) – IHC Merwede, the Dutch specialist shipbuilder, is negotiating new acquisition loans and is prepared to sell nearly half the company to outside investors as it eyes “sizeable” takeovers to fuel future growth.

IHC’s president confirmed a recent Reuters report that the firm, which generates more than 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in revenues, was seeking new backers and had hired JPMorgan and Rabobank for advice.

Mar 17, 2011

Glencore set for late call on listing as IPOs tumble

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – Uneasy markets and the canning
of two high-profile European listings mean Glencore [GLEN.UL] is
likely to put off a decision on whether to push ahead with its
flotation until the last possible moment.

Danish outsourcing group ISS [ISSHOI.UL] postponed its
Copenhagen listing on Thursday, only 24 hours after French media
group Lagardere (LAGA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) put off the initial public offering
(IPO) of its 20 percent stake in pay-TV channel Canal+ France.

Mar 17, 2011

Denmark’s ISS pulls float, casts doubt on Glencore

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – Denmark’s ISS [ISSHOI.UL]
pulled its potential $2.8 billion listing, becoming Europe’s
biggest casualty of choppy markets and casting doubt on the
chances of commodities giant Glencore’s [GLEN.UL] float.

The outsourcing group, which closed the books on its
Copenhagen float earlier on Thursday, said concerns about
volatile markets had prompted it to postpone, despite the
offering being oversubscribed within its price range.

Mar 17, 2011

Glencore set to make last minute call on listing

LONDON (Reuters) – Uneasy markets mean Glencore GLEN.UL is likely to put off a decision on whether to push ahead with its flotation until the last possible moment.

Glencore has so far played a cagey game, raising expectations of an initial public offering (IPO) by briefing sell-side analysts and getting a potential cornerstone investor lined up in the form of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

Mar 14, 2011

Dutch shipbuilder IHC courts new backers – sources

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – Rabobank [RABN.UL] and Dutch
billionaire Cees de Bruin are planning to sell a stake in IHC
Merwede, the bespoke shipbuilder hoping to benefit from a boom
in deep-sea mining, people familiar with the matter said.
The part-sale of IHC, which designs, builds and equips
vessels for land reclamation, oil drilling and deep-sea mining,
could fetch hundreds of millions of euros and interest buyout
firms and Asian and Middle Eastern shipbuilders, they said.

IHC and its owners — Dutch lender Rabobank’s private equity
arm Rabo Capital, IHC employees, and a unit of de Bruin’s
Indofin — hired JPMorgan and Rabobank’s own investment bankers
to help prepare a sale, the sources said on Monday.

Mar 13, 2011

Slim mining margins may cloud Glencore’s IPO value

LONDON (Reuters) – Slim margins at Glencore’s GLEN.UL mines and smelters could hamper the Swiss commodity giant’s efforts to attain a premium valuation from a planned multi-billion-dollar listing.

The narrow ratios contrast with better overall margins than its nearest listed rival, Noble Group (NOBG.SI: Quote, Profile, Research), and further muddy the picture for prospective investors weighing up a firm that is a mixture of trader, miner and investor.

    • About Quentin

      "Quentin Webb is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist, covering mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. He is based in London. Before becoming a columnist, he was a news reporter for Reuters, where he was most recently European M&A correspondent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Brussels and as a credit-markets reporter. He joined Reuters in 2003 from Legalease, a legal publisher. He has a first-class degree in psychology from University College London."
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