Wednesday’s top stories:
Japan’s Suzuki Motor will sell a 19.9 percent stake to Volkswagen for $2.5 billion and use half the proceeds to buy shares in the German automaker, as the two firms form a formidable force in the auto industry.
Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) agrees to buy BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX) (BLT.L) closed Ravensthorpe nickel mine for $340 million, paving the way to revive 5 percent of world nickel capacity.
U.S. dealmakers expect merger and acquisition activity to pick up in the first six months of 2010, with manufacturing, health care and financial services positioned to benefit most in the near term, a survey says.
In the Reuters Breakingviews corner, Jeffrey Goldfarb says Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman is off to a good start. “In his first big decision as Morgan Stanley’s CEO-to-be, Gorman has surrounded himself with veterans of the firm rather than bring in an outsider. This should help preserve the culture and ease internal fears about Gorman’s pedigree,” Goldfarb says.
For the rest of latest deal-related news from Reuters, click here.
And in the papers:
Consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble Co. is close to a deal to buy Sara Lee Corp.’s European air-freshener business, after fending off a challenge from S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., the WSJ says. In a bigger linked piece, it also says a “new wave of deal making is occurring in the consumer aisle. In recent weeks, a closely-held chip-maker, a juice-maker and hair- and skin-care company have been offered for sale, as a persistent decline in consumer-spending shakes up the companies whose products line supermarket and drugstore shelves.”
HSBC (0005.HK) (HSBA.L) is set to buy the retail and small and medium enterprises businesses of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) in India, China and Malaysia, the Mint newspaper reports, citing an unnamed RBS official in India. Reuters story here.