Deals du Jour

June 4, 2009

British department stores group Debenhams Chief Executive Rob Templeman told Reuters the company will price its 323 million pound rights issue at a modest discount, while Chinese state-owned metals firm Chinalco may revise its planned $19.5 billion investment in miner Rio Tinto before a June 14 deadline, according to two sources close to the deal we talked to.

In the U.S., American International Group (AIG) is in talks with three bidding groups for International Lease Finance Corp., but a sale is complex as the parties have to deal with the aircraft leasing unit’s mountain of debt and funding needs, Reuters heard late on Wednesday.

And in the newspapers:

* State-run Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil firm, will take over private bank Trust in exchange for writing off debts, Kommersant business daily reported.

* Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy is close to raising $127 million in the form of debt from private equity firms to finance the purchase of Portuguese energy firm Martifer’s stake in Germany’s REpower Systems, the Economic Times reported.

 * China’s Ping An Insurance, which was hit by a $3.3 billion impairment loss last year on its investment in Dutch-Belgian group Fortis, said it will maintain a cautious stance on foreign investments, mainly sticking to Hong Kong stocks, the China Securities Journal cited Chairman Peter Ma as saying. 

* Channel 4 is working hard to thrash out a deal with BBC Worldwide to secure its future, although the government has set the two sides a deadline of 14 days to come to an agreement about a joint venture, the Independent reported. Channel 4 is facing a funding gap of 150 million pounds by 2012. If the talks fail, it is likely that Channel 4 will be acquired by its rival Five.

* Some of the UK’s largest hedge funds have begun making backup preparations to move to either Switzerland or New York unless a draft European directive on alternative investment fund managers is rewritten, the Financial Times reported.

* Fashion chain New Look has not ruled out a public listing in 2010, after dropping an IPO plan in 2007 as investors balked at the 1.8 billion pound price tag, the Financial Times reported. Any decision on an IPO is to be taken by owners Apax and Permira.

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