Quentin's Feed
Aug 31, 2010

UK route offers fast-track into European rail boom

LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The state sell-off of Britain’s 186-mph rail route hinges on how rosy a view bidders take of Europe’s coming fast-rail revolution.

With a price tag of at least 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion), a sale would be a welcome contribution to British government coffers as it seeks to tame a budget deficit that will near 150 billion pounds this year, and would bode well for further privatizations.

Aug 30, 2010

POSCO in talks to buy Norway’s Elkem

SEOUL/LONDON (Reuters) – POSCO is considering a takeover of Norway’s Elkem, a maker of silicon for solar panels, the CEO of the South Korean group said, in a move that would give the world’s No.3 steelmaker a presence in the fast growing renewable energy materials space.

Elkem, owned by pizza-to-aluminium conglomerate Orkla ASA, could cost POSCO around $1 billion, based on the company’s financial figures and analyst research notes.

Aug 30, 2010

S.Korea’s POSCO in talks to buy Norway’s Elkem

SEOUL/LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – POSCO (005490.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is
considering a takeover of Norway’s Elkem, a maker of silicon
for solar panels, the CEO of the South Korean group said, in a
move that would give the world’s No.3 steelmaker a presence in
the fast growing renewable energy materials space.

Elkem, owned by pizza-to-aluminium conglomerate Orkla ASA
(ORK.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), had operating revenues of $1.2 billion in 2009. A
deal with POSCO would allow the Norway-based conglomerate to
shed the silicon unit and sharpen its business focus.

Aug 30, 2010

S.Korea’s POSCO in talks to buy Norway’s Elkem

SEOUL/LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – POSCO (005490.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) is
considering a takeover of Norway’s Elkem, a maker of silicon
for solar panels, the CEO of the South Korean group said, in a
move that would give the world’s No.3 steelmaker a presence in
the fast growing renewable energy materials space.

Elkem, owned by pizza-to-aluminium conglomerate Orkla ASA
(ORK.OL: Quote, Profile, Research), had operating revenues of $1.2 billion in 2009. A
deal with POSCO would allow the Norway-based conglomerate to
shed the silicon unit and sharpen its business focus.

Aug 30, 2010

S.Korea’s POSCO in talks to buy Norway’s Elkem

SEOUL/LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – POSCO (005490.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) is
considering a takeover of Norway’s Elkem, a maker of silicon
for solar panels, the CEO of the South Korean group said, in a
move that would give the world’s No.3 steelmaker a presence in
the fast growing renewable energy materials space.

Elkem, owned by pizza-to-aluminium conglomerate Orkla ASA
(ORK.OL: Quote, Profile, Research), had operating revenues of $1.2 billion in 2009. A
deal with POSCO would allow the Norway-based conglomerate to
shed the silicon unit and sharpen its business focus.

Aug 25, 2010

Sanofi top 2 shareholders seen wary on Genzyme bid

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Sanofi-Aventis’ (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) top shareholders L’Oreal (OREP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have reservations about the drugmaker’s plans to buy Genzyme (GENZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and are concerned that it does not overpay, bankers said.

Both the cosmetics group and the oil major “will have a view on not spending too much money,” one banker close to L’Oreal said, adding L’Oreal was not opposed in principle to a deal, but was not sure Genzyme was the best buy.

Aug 24, 2010

RBS seeks mid-Sept bids for the Priory -sources

LONDON, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
has begun the sale of mental-health specialist the Priory Group,
which it hopes could fetch about 1 billion pounds ($1.54
billion), people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

RBS, which is being advised by Rothschild [ROT.UL], has
given bidders until mid-September to submit indicative offers,
the people said. RBS abandoned plans to list Priory earlier this
year.

Aug 24, 2010

Ratos selling business data firm Bisnode – sources

LONDON/STOCKHOLM, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Ratos AB (RATOb.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz),
the Swedish private equity firm, is seeking to sell Bisnode, the
business information firm that operates Dun & Bradstreet (DNB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
branded credit-checking businesses in 10 European companies.

People familiar with the matter said Ratos, backed by the
Soderberg family, has hired JPMorgan to manage a sale of
Stockholm-based Bisnode.

Aug 20, 2010

Hedge funds to win big as Koreans close in on Dana

LONDON (Reuters) – More than a dozen hedge funds are set to book big profits supporting South Korea’s state oil firm in its pursuit of British peer Dana Petroleum.

The funds, including Eric Mindich’s Eton Park and Philippe Jabre’s Jabre Capital, have built up stakes totalling more than a third of Aberdeen-based Dana’s shares, wagering the Koreans’ $6.5 billion warchest and thirst for resources will prevail despite rebuffs from Dana (DNX.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief executive Tom Cross.

Aug 20, 2010

BHP, Intel, RSA shatter usual August M&A lull

LONDON (Reuters) – Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have hit nearly $200 billion so far in August, just $60 billion shy of the record set in 2006 for what is typically one of the quietest months of the year, Thomson Reuters data shows.

The $197.6 billion of deals appears to vindicate analysts and bankers who have spent months predicting an upturn in M&A, as cash-rich corporates regain confidence, the economic backdrop improves, and banks are increasingly ready to lend.

    • 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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