Quentin's Feed
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

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.

Oct 13, 2010

London City Airport investor seeks exit -sources

AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Infrastructure fund
manager Highstar Capital is looking to divest its 25 percent
stake in London City Airport, two people familiar with the
matter said, a sale that could fetch up to 200 million pounds
($317 million).

New York-based Highstar, which bought its stake in London’s
sole centrally located airport from Global Infrastructure
Partners (GIP) in 2008, is now looking for an exit and has
approached infrastructure and pension funds, the sources said.

Oct 13, 2010

Lazard hires ex-JPM Cazenove CEO Kheraj

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has hired
Naguib Kheraj for a new top international role, bolstering its
London offering with a banker previously linked with top jobs at
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and UK insurer Prudential (PRU.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Kheraj, 46, had been chief executive officer (CEO) of
JPMorgan Cazenove, the U.S. bank’s joint venture with Britain’s
Cazenove Group. He left after JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) took full control
of the unit earlier this year.

Oct 12, 2010

Owners weigh sale of Turkey’s Biofarma -sources

LONDON/ISTANBUL, Oct 12 (Reuters) – An arm of Citigroup
(C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and two other investors are mulling a sale of copycat
drugmaker Biofarma, people familiar with the matter said, in
what could be Turkey’s biggest healthcare deal.

The generic drugmaker, whose full name is Biofarma
Pharmaceutical Industry Co Inc, has met investment bankers and
is close to picking advisers to help prepare the company for a
$500 million-plus sale, these people added. One said it could be
worth nearly $1 billion.

Oct 11, 2010

Top editors urge UK FSA to revoke media clampdown

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – The editors of the Financial
Times, Guardian, Reuters and the Times urged Britain’s markets
watchdog to scrap “misguided” anti-leak rules that will curb
journalists’ contacts with bankers and executives.

Last month, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) told the
firms it regulates, such as banks, brokers and asset managers,
to adopt media policies to kill “strategic leaks.”

Oct 11, 2010

Two teams try lining up Potash Corp bids: reports

MUMBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Reported fresh attempts to outdo BHP Billiton’s $39 billion bid for Canadian group Potash Corp look unwieldy, analysts said, suggesting the world’s biggest miner still has the field to itself.

Bernstein analyst Paul Galloway said getting the financial clout needed to improve on the terms of the biggest takeover bid this year required either aligning a diverse consortium or relying on the politically contentious backing of China.

    • 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."
    • Follow Quentin