Quentin's Feed
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

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.

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.

    • 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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