DealZone Daily

January 15, 2010

Friday’s highlights:

Citigroup Inc could pay commercial and investment banking bonuses for 2009 that are similar to 2008 levels, and may cap individual cash payouts at about $60,000, according to people that have been briefed on the plan.

CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N) withdraws its year-long hostile bid to buy rival fertilizer maker Terra Industries Inc (TRA.N) on Thursday, bringing a three-way battle for control of the North American fertilizer business closer to a conclusion.

Shiseido Co Ltd, Japan’s largest cosmetics company, agrees to buy U.S.-based Bare Escentuals Inc for $1.7 billion, as it looks to revamp its global brand and expand in North America.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross says he’s “quite possibly” interested in teaming up with Richard Branson’s Virgin Money to bid for state-owned British bank Northern Rock.

Willcom Inc, a Japanese mobile phone company majority owned by U.S. buyout firm Carlyle, may be bailed out by a government-backed turnaround fund, a person with knowledge of the matter says.

European banks should suffer less than their American counterparts from the Obama administration’s proposed bank tax, say Margaret Doyle and George Hay of Reuters Breakingviews.

For more on these and the rest of the latest deal-related news from Reuters, click here.

And elsewhere:

Interactive Data Corporation, the $2.4bn financial information company majority owned by Pearson, is sounding out potential buyers, the FT says. Pearson and IDC confirm IDC’s board is “undertaking a preliminary review of strategic alternatives”.

Here is another potential monkey wrench in the $38 billion Novartis-Alcon deal, writes Dow Jones: Alcon shareholders in the U.S. might have to pay taxes when their holdings are swapped for Novartis shares.

BC Partners Ltd., the private equity firm that has stakes in Office Depot Inc. and Foxtons Ltd., plans to start raising about 5.8 billion euros ($8.4 billion) for leveraged buyouts this year, the biggest test of investor appetite for such funds since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in 2008, Bloomberg says.

The Guardian ends its week-long series on “Companies to Shape the Decade” with an interview with General Electric.  (Its other picks were Walmart, Gazprom, BHP Billiton and China Mobile).

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