In the can

June 23, 2008

allied.jpgRepublic Services and Allied Waste Industries are tying the bag. The $6.1 billion all-stock deal has been in the works for more than two years, and puts a serious competitor together for top trash company Waste Management by combining the second- and third-largest waste and environmental services companies. Allied Waste shareholders will receive what amounts to a 17 percent premium for their shares, and will end up with about 52 percent ownership of the combined company. Last week, analysts were talking about the potential for higher trash hauling industry prices in the wake of the merger; investors are worried about antitrust issues for the very same reason.

Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines, the world’s eighth-biggest container shipping firm, is looking to raise $5-$7 billion in loans, according to banking sources, the clearest sign yet it will bid for Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd. The merger of the two companies could potentially create the world’s number-three container shipping group, behind Danish shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk and privately owned Mediterranean Shipping. The talks come as German tourism group TUI Chief Executive Michael Frenzel tours Asia to market Hapag-Lloyd, TUI’s container shipping business, which analysts value at around $7 billion, including debt.

U.S. fertilizer producer and oilseed processor Bunge has agreed to buy Corn Products International for $4.4 billion in stock. The company also raised its 2008 earnings forecast range by more than $2 a share. The deal, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, unites two of the oldest U.S. agricultural businesses and puts Bunge squarely in the business of finished corn products such as starches and sweeteners. It also expands Bunge’s operations in growth markets and diversifies its sources of revenue with a “solid cash-flow business,” Chief Executive Alberto Weisser said in a statement.

Other deals of the day:

* Safran said it has submitted an unsolicited offer to buy the secure ID business of Digimarc for $300 million in cash.

* Norwegian papermaker Norske Skog is selling its South Korean unit for 5 billion Norwegian crowns ($965.8 million) to reduce debt.

* KPN said it had sold its Getronics units in U.S., Canada and Mexico to CompuCom for cash and shares.

* Hochschild Mining has increased its stake in Lake Shore Gold to 40 percent.

* Oce has acquired Intersoft, a French distributor of printers, scanners and print media in the wide format graphic arts segment.

* Metso would acquire GE‘s plant in Lachine, near Montreal, which manufactures large mining equipment.

* Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems said its subsidiary Electro-Optics Elop has bought intelligence gathering systems firm Bar-Kal for an amount not material to Elbit.

* Norwegian telecom group Telenor has agreed to buy communications company Datametrix from Norwegian technology firm Ignis ASA for 226 million crowns ($43.65 million)

* Shares in BankThai surged over 40 percent after Malaysia’s CIMB agreed to buy a large stake in the small Thai lender for 5.9 billion baht ($177 million) to widen its Southeast Asian banking presence.

* Australian-listed Indophil Resources, the target of competing takeover bids, has lifted its stake in the Tampakan copper and gold mine in the Philippines by 1.73 percent, the firm said.

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