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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.

Oct 21, 2010

M&A watchdog to curb “virtual bids”

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s takeover watchdog has unveiled proposals to make hostile bids harder but stopped short of endorsing the most radical proposals floated following the controversial takeover of Cadbury by Kraft Foods.

The plans would ban “break fees,” which penalise the party that walks away from an agreed deal, and would call for more detail on a bidder’s finances and the fees paid to advisers.

Oct 21, 2010

UK takeover watchdog to tighten rules

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s takeover watchdog unveiled proposals to make hostile bids harder but stopped short of endorsing the most radical proposals floated since Cadbury was taken over by Kraft Foods (KFT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Britain is one of the world’s most open regimes for takeovers and one of the biggest venues for dealmaking outside the United States.

Oct 21, 2010

UK’s Panel proposes tightening takeover rules

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s takeover watchdog
unveiled proposals to make hostile bids harder, but stopped
short of endorsing the most radical overhauls floated following
Kraft Food Inc’s (KFT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) controversial takeover of Cadbury.

The Takeover Panel’s proposals, which follow a far-reaching
consultation launched in June, include:

Oct 20, 2010

Citi eyes sale of Egyptian drugmaker Amoun-sources

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc’s (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) venture
capital arm and two other investors are planning to sell Amoun,
one of Egypt’s biggest drugmakers, three people familiar with
the matter said on Wednesday.

The owners — Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI),
together with the emerging-markets focused private equity arm
of the Capital Group Cos Inc, and Concord International
Investments — are close to hiring Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to run
the sale, the people said.

Oct 15, 2010

Thetrainline owners to weigh 2011 sale -sources

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Exponent, the British private
equity firm, is set to hire Rothschild [ROT.UL] to examine
strategic options for thetrainline — a move that could lead to
a 400 million pound-plus sale of the online ticket seller next
year.

People familiar with the matter said the mandate could lead
to a sale to a strategic bidder or rival private equity firm, or
potentially a flotation. Any such move is unlikely to come
before mid-2011, they added.

Oct 15, 2010

Hedge funds up Wellstream stakes; Schroders sells

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Hedge funds have raised their
stakes in Wellstream Holdings Plc (WSML.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), regulatory filings
show, suggesting they anticipate an improved approach for the
oil-pipes company that recently rebuffed General Electric
(GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

But their optimism appears at odds with Wellstream’s largest
investor, Schroders Plc (SDR.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which has sold two-fifths of
its stake, an example of so-called “top-slicing” where
traditional investors trim holdings during a takeover tussle to
lock in gains.

Oct 14, 2010

Buyout firms may pre-empt Saint-Gobain unit IPO

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Private equity firms could jump in ahead of a planned flotation of Saint Gobain’s (SGOB.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) glass-bottle arm and seek a 4 billion euro-plus deal that would be Europe’s largest post-crisis buyout.

Late on Wednesday, the world’s largest building materials group outlined plans to list the unit, dubbed “Verallia,” in the second quarter of next year at the earliest.

    • 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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