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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.

Aug 18, 2010

BHP switches advisers as bankers eye fee bonanza

SYDNEY/LONDON (Reuters) – With up to $190 million in potential fees up for grabs, BHP Billiton’s bid for Canada’s Potash Corp is the deal investment bankers around the world had been hoping for.

However, there was a notable change in the mining giant’s lineup of advisers since its failed 2008 bid for rival Rio Tinto.

Aug 17, 2010

Li Ka-Shing and Goldman vie for rapid rail route

LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Li Ka-Shing has emerged as one of the suitors for Britain’s only high-speed rail line, just weeks after the Hong Kong tycoon struck a $9 billion (5.8 billion pound) deal to buy the UK’s biggest electricity distribution network.

With indicative bids due on Tuesday, Li’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) faced at least three rival groups: a five-strong bidding group that included Goldman Sachs and Eurotunnel, a team allied with Morgan Stanley, and a pair of big Canadian pension funds.

Aug 17, 2010

Goldman-Eurotunnel group bulks up for UK rail bid

LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Groupe
Eurotunnel have expanded their bidding group for Britain’s only
high-speed rail line, a consortium spokesman said on Tuesday, as
first-round bids were due for the 1.5 billion pound route.

The British government is selling “High Speed 1″, which has
a 30-year concession to run a 110 kilometre (70 mile) railway
linking London and the Channel Tunnel, to help cut its budget
deficit. People familiar with the matter have previously told
Reuters it could fetch 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion).

Aug 2, 2010

Geely wants Volvo to compete with top-end BMWs

LONDON (Reuters) – Geely, the new Chinese owner of Volvo Cars, wants the Swedish carmaker best known for its safety to build cars that compete with the most expensive BMW and Mercedes sedans, its founder and chairman told Reuters.

In an interview hours after Geely’s $1.5 billion purchase from Ford (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) closed, Li Shufu said he sought to boost Volvo’s profile in China and step up research and development, while a modest sales increase would be enough to tip the company back into profit.

Aug 2, 2010

HgCapital to buy Bain’s TeamSystem-sources

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – HgCapital is set to buy Italian
accounting software firm TeamSystem for 565 million euros
($738.5 million), people familiar with the matter said, after
beating rival buyout firm Cinven [CINV.UL] in the final stages
of the auction.

A formal announcement of the deal is expected this week, one
of the the people added.

Aug 2, 2010

HgCapital set to buy TeamSystem from Bain -sources

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – HgCapital is set to buy Italian
accounting software firm TeamSystem, three people familiar with
the matter said, after beating rival buyout firm Cinven
[CINV.UL] in the final stages of the auction.

Seller Bain Capital could get as much as 600 million euros
($783 million), one of the people said. Bain received bids from
both firms by Friday’s deadline as listed British software
provider Sage (SGE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unexpectedly withdrew from the process.
[ID:nN30206177].

Jul 30, 2010

Deutsche, RBS spearhead Li Ka-shing/EDF deal

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank, RBS, Barclays
Capital and BNP Paribas will share in fees estimated at nearly
$100 million after helping shepherd EDF’s $9 billion sale of
British power networks to Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

Late on Thursday, the world’s second-biggest utility reached
a deal to sell its UK electricity distribution networks to Li’s
Cheung Kong Infrastructure (1038.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (CKI) and Hongkong Electric
(0006.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (HKE). [ID:nLDE66T171]

Jul 30, 2010

Li Ka-shing to buy EDF’s UK grids for $9 billion

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is to buy UK power grids from France’s EDF (EDF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for 5.8 billion pounds ($9.1 billion), the biggest full European acquisition by a North Asian group.

The tycoon’s investment vehicles Cheung Kong Infrastructure (1038.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (CKI) and Hongkong Electric (0006.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (HKE) said they would buy three British electricity distribution networks and a private power networks business from EDF, the world’s second-largest utility.

Jul 30, 2010

Li Ka-shing to buy EDF’s UK grids for £5.5 billion-sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – Two firms controlled by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, are to buy UK power grids from France’s EDF for over 5.5 billion pounds, giving them a foothold in more lucrative overseas markets.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI), together with Hongkong Electric (HKE), won the auction for the three power distribution grids and the private power networks from EDF, the world’s second-largest utility, three people told Reuters.

    • 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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