Quentin's Feed
Sep 29, 2010

Sanofi reported weighing higher Genzyme offer

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is considering whether to raise its $18.5 billion bid for U.S. drugmaker Genzyme (GENZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as soon as next week, Bloomberg said on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

France’s largest drugmaker is “leaning toward” raising the $69-a-share offer by $1 or $2 a share, Bloomberg said. It has not ruled out a hostile bid but would prefer friendly negotiations, the report said.

Sep 28, 2010

Edwards expects iPad to boost semiconductor spending

CRAWLEY, England (Reuters) – Outlay on semiconductor plants will rise in 2011, boosted by growing use of NAND memory chips in iPads and other “tablet” devices, said the chief executive of Edwards, a leading sector supplier.

Private equity-backed Edwards, whose pumps can create vacuums emptier than deep space, works with all of the world’s 10 biggest chipmakers. It recently hired a trio of banks to explore a sale or flotation.

Sep 28, 2010

UK’s Edwards sees iPad boost to semiconductor spend

CRAWLEY, England, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Outlay on
semiconductor plants will rise in 2011, boosted by growing use
of NAND memory chips in iPads and other “tablet” devices, said
the chief executive of Edwards, a leading sector supplier.

Private equity-backed Edwards, whose pumps can create
vacuums emptier than deep space, works with all of the world’s
10 biggest chipmakers. It recently hired a trio of banks to
explore a sale or flotation.

Sep 24, 2010

FSA tells banks to crack down on M&A leaks

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s markets watchdog told investment banks to adopt “a much stricter culture” to prevent leaks to journalists about takeovers and other deals, and said it might impose new rules if nothing improves in a year.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said three years of investigations had found contact between banks and journalists was “generally poorly controlled” and media leaks often followed telephone conversations with senior deal insiders.

Sep 24, 2010

UK’s FSA tells banks to crack down on M&A leaks

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s markets watchdog told investment banks to adopt “a much stricter culture” to prevent leaks to journalists about takeovers and other deals, and said it might impose new rules if nothing improves in a year.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said three years of investigations had found contact between banks and journalists was “generally poorly controlled” and media leaks often followed telephone conversations with senior deal insiders.

Sep 24, 2010

BHP, Sanofi, CVC show financing revival aids M&A

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Banks are more willing to lend for big takeovers by companies such as BHP Billiton Ltd (BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and CVC Capital Partners CVC.UL, and with borrowing cheap, would-be buyers are seizing the chance.

This means that sensible deals that were ruled out because financing was too scarce or costly may now return to the agenda, even if they run into the tens of billions of dollars.

Sep 23, 2010

DealTalk: Vue presents Cinema Buyout III: Will it be a hit?

LONDON (Reuters) – Like film studios, buyout shops seem fond of sequels.

The latest sees Vue seeking fresh private equity backers in a deal set to value Britain’s third-biggest cinema chain at 400 million pounds ($627 million) or more.

While at least six firms are circling, Vue chief executive Tim Richards will need to tell a gripping story about growth in a competitive and consolidated market.

Sep 23, 2010

Vue presents Cinema Buyout III: Will it be a hit?

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Like film studios, buyout shops
seem fond of sequels.

The latest sees Vue seeking fresh private equity backers in
a deal set to value Britain’s third-biggest cinema chain at 400
million pounds ($627 million) or more.

Sep 22, 2010

Severstal plans London gold unit IPO -source

LONDON/MOSCOW, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Severstal (CHMF.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz),
Russia’s largest steel producer, plans a fourth-quarter London
listing of its gold unit that would value the business at $4
billion plus, a person familiar with the matter said on
Wednesday.

The initial public offering (IPO) will help fund the unit’s
future expansion, both through deals and organic growth, and
will see Severstal (CHMFq.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) retain a majority stake of roughly
65 to 70 percent stake.

Sep 21, 2010

Green light for sale of UK parking-ticket firm NSL

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) – NSL, Britain’s biggest employer
of staff who write parking tickets and clamp cars, has set its
sights on further growth after owners 3i Group Plc (III.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sold
the firm in a 120 million pounds ($186 million) deal.

NSL provides “parking enforcement officers” to more than 50
municipal authorities — a job that like its police cousin, the
traffic warden, is often controversial because of the big fines
levied and the millions of pounds raised by local councils.

    • 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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