Weekends held hostage by M&A chatter
With Merger Mondays back in fashion, could “Freaky (Rumor) Fridays” be far behind, as Eric Savitz over at Barron’s Tech Trader Daily blog writes? Since this morning, there has been a steady stream of rumors — most of them originating in the options market — about who might buy whom. Not surprisingly, these are all tech companies, since tech is the one sector that has seen a flurry of recent deals, including Dell buying Perot Systems, Cisco buying Tandberg and Brocade shopping itself. A quick roundup:
- Blue Coat Systems option volume is up after Deal Reporter suggested Cisco might bid for it.
- NCR calls are up on rumors of a takeover bid, although it has not been linked to any company.
- American Superconductor jumps on rumors of an ABB bid.
- Riverbed Technologies could be acquired by Juniper Networks.
Another old favorite among tech gossips is also doing the rounds today — the idea of Microsoft buying Research in Motion. That one came from Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget (seems like he suggested the same thing in February too).
But as my colleague Wojtek Dabrowski, who covers tech, media and telecoms companies out of Toronto, says: “Microsoft could have bought RIM at $35, because that’s the low the stock hit in March of this year. The stock is now at $70 and RIM is under pressure from the iPhone. Such a deal makes no sense, though it could have in the past, especially given Microsoft’s continued commitment to Windows Mobile.”
But if there is any truth to these rumors, the media will start buzzing with news by Sunday evening. And as a deals reporter, I know that would shatter my Sunday (even if it would represent a shot in the arm into an M&A market still running far behind last year’s levels). I’ll probably have to rechristen my Sundays as something. Here are some suggestions from colleagues: Savaged Sunday, Slaughterhouse Sunday, Sucky Sunday, Sacrifical Sunday. Anyone got a better name?
Photo: Jamie Lee Curtis and family arrive for Freaky Friday premiere/Reuters