Waste Management’s sweetened trash bid

August 11, 2008

waste.jpg[Editor's note: This blog post originally referenced a Reuters article reporting that United Parcel Service had dismissed talk of a $15 billion takeover bid for Dutch rival TNT. That article is wrong and has been withdrawn. Reuters accepts that the UPS executive was not commenting specifically on reports that TNT and UPS were in talks.]

Waste Management Inc, the largest U.S. trash hauler, said on Monday it has raised its rejected bid for rival Republic Services Inc by nearly 10 percent, to $6.73 billion. Under the revised offer, Waste Management would acquire all outstanding shares of Republic for $37.00 each, a 32.6 percent premium to Republic’s share price prior to Waste’s first takeover bid. That’s not likely to bring a smile to the face of Bill Gates, a major Republic shareholder through his investment arm, BGI, who last month asked Waste Management to walk away. BGI didn’t mince words in its letter to Waste Management’s CEO and board: “We can only assume your ill-timed and poorly conceived pursuit of Republic is designed to disrupt what you perceive as a competitive threat to your position in the market.”

GATX Corp is offering more than $3 billion for General Electric Co‘s rail car leasing business, a source familiar with the discussions said. GATX is the leading bidder for the unit and negotiations are ongoing, the person said. A GE spokesman declined to comment. GATX was not immediately reachable for comment.

Other deals of the day:

* South Korea said it plans to sell a 49 percent stake in state-owned Incheon International Airport Corp, worth about $2 billion, to global airport operators as part of a drive to privatise and reform state-run companies.

* U.S. energy firm Marathon Oil Corp is selling a 20 percent stake in an Angolan oil field that could fetch almost $2 billion, attracting bids from China’s top three oil firms, India’s ONGC and Brazil’s Petrobras, sources close to the matter said.

* Media, entertainment and events group First Artist Corp said it agreed to acquire U.S.-based advertising agency Spot and Company of Manhattan Inc in a reverse takeover for up to $18.86 million in cash.

* Russia’s Gazprom Neft will offer Kazakhstan a stake in one of its own projects in exchange for a 49 percent stake in Kazakh oil firm MangistauMunaiGas (MMG), a senior Gazprom Neft official said.

* Kazakh miner Kazakhmys has increased its stake in domestic peer Eurasian Natural Resources Corp to 25 percent, but has no plans to launch a bid for now, it said.

* Dubai Mercantile Exchange, a joint venture between Oman, Dubai and the New York Mercantile Exchange, said it had sold a 20 percent stake to several financial institutions and energy traders.

* Debt-ridden French drinks group Belvedere is considering selling its Marie Brizard liqueur unit to refocus on its vodka business, business newspaper Les Echos reported, citing several sources.

* Australian farming cooperative Murray Goulburn has made a solo bid for dairy producer Dairy Farmers after its consortium with Italy’s Parmalat fell apart last week, a source familiar with the situation said.

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