Quentin's Feed
Nov 1, 2010

M&A code names make Kraft ‘Krypton’, EDF ‘Eclipse’

LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Animals, chemicals, and
astronomical phenomena have disguised some of 2010′s takeovers,
and dealmakers may have to come up with more aliases to keep
their plans secret as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) accelerate.

Speaking in code is nothing new in a world of “bear hugs”,
“poison pills”, and “white knights” but the colourful terms are
an important guard against leaks that could torpedo a deal or
facilitate insider trading.

Oct 29, 2010

Goldman, M.Stanley, Allianz in UK rail bids: sources

AMSTERDAM/LONDON (Reuters) – Bid teams based around Eurotunnel and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), German insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and two Ontario pension funds offered to buy Britain’s only high-speed rail route, sources said.

The four teams are vying to run the 186-mph (300km per hour) route from London to the Channel Tunnel, known as High Speed 1 and which market sources say could fetch 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion).

Oct 29, 2010

Allianz and partners to make fast-rail bid – sources

AMSTERDAM/LONDON (Reuters) – German insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) has tapped Britain’s largest private pension fund and one that invests the pensions of Canada’s Mounties to make a joint bid for Britain’s sole high-speed railway, sources said.

Final bids were due on Friday for the 186-mph (300km per hour) route from London to the Channel Tunnel, which is known as High Speed 1 and could fetch 2 billion pounds.

Oct 29, 2010

Allianz, partners to make UK fast-rail bid-sources

AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – German insurer Allianz
(ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has tapped Britain’s largest private pension fund and
one that invests the pensions of Canada’s Mounties police to
make a joint bid for Britain’s sole high-speed railway, sources
said.

Allianz has formed a consortium with BT (BT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Pension
Scheme and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board
(PSP), which manages civil-service pensions, to submit a bid for
High Speed 1, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Oct 27, 2010

Cleaning giant ISS explores new LBO – sources

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sweden’s
EQT (EQT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are exploring selling ISS [ISSHOI.UL] [ISSFN.UL],
their $7 billion Danish cleaning giant to fresh private equity
investors, sources said, in what could be Europe’s biggest
buyout since the credit crisis.

People familiar with the matter said the duo, wich are
officially considering “strategic options” including a listing
of ISS, have been in contact with major private equity firms and
banks about a possible deal.

Oct 25, 2010

WiMAX chipmaker Sequans eyes New York IPO-sources

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Sequans Communications, a French
maker of chips used in high-speed wireless networks, is
considering a New York stock-market listing, four people
familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The Paris-based firm, which is backed by Alcatel-Lucent SA
(ALUA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Motorola Inc (MOT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Swisscom AG (SCMN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and
several financial investors, recently asked banks to pitch for
roles on a possible initial public offering, the people said.

Oct 22, 2010

Caterpillar buys 3i’s engine maker MWM for $810 million

LONDON (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) agreed to buy MWM Holding GmbH, the German maker of gas and diesel engines, from British private equity firm 3i Group Plc (III.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for about 580 million euros ($810 million) in cash.

Caterpillar’s rich offer pre-empted a formal auction that was likely to have attracted a string of big strategic buyers, two people familiar with the matter said.

Oct 21, 2010

Sanofi and Merck begin vet drugs sale – sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) have begun selling parts of the businesses they are combining to form the world’s largest animal-health operation, people familiar with the matter said.

Merck and its French partner — which is also trying to buy U.S. rare-disease specialist Genzyme Corp (GENZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) — are creating a powerhouse in veterinary drugs and vaccines, with $5.3 billion (3.4 billion pounds) in sales and almost a third of the global market.

Oct 21, 2010

Sanofi, Merck & Co begin vet drugs sale -sources

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and
Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have begun selling parts of the
businesses they are combining to form the world’s largest
animal-health operation, people familiar with the matter said.

Merck and its French partner — which is also trying to buy
U.S. rare-disease specialist Genzyme Corp (GENZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) — are
creating a powerhouse in veterinary drugs and vaccines, with
$5.3 billion in sales and almost a third of the global market.

Oct 21, 2010

Sanofi, Merck begin vet drugs sell-off -sources

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and
Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have begun selling parts of the
businesses they are combining to form the world’s largest
animal-health operation, people familiar with the matter said.

The two drugmakers are selling some product lines to allay
competition concerns, offering smaller players in the $19
billion animal-health industry a last clear chance to bulk up.

    • 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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