DealZone Daily

February 19, 2010

U.S. mall owner General Growth Properties is looking to raise up to $2 billion from public markets to buy its way out of bankruptcy and fend off an unwanted takeover approach. The U.S. no. 2 is facing pressure to enter talks with market leader Simon Property Group, itself in discussions with Blackstone about the private equity firm co-investing in its bid.

National Australia Bank said it is actively pursuing AXA Asia Pacific, despite concerns the takeover fight for the regional arm of the French Insurer was distracting it and hurting earnings growth. The competition regulator last week raised concerns over an NAB-AXA alliance, bolstering the position of rival AMP.

Meanwhile, AXA Private Equity has entered exclusive talks to buy the private equity assets of investment bank Nataxis, which hopes to sell them for 507 million euros, plus a premium to valuation based on performance.

For other Reuters deals news, click here.

In other media:

Canadian precious metals group Barrick is planning to spin out its African gold mining operations and list them in London, the FT reports.  Analysts think the miner, with assets in north-west Tanzania, could be worth about $6 billion if traded at the same per ounce valuation as rival Rangold.

Andy Brough, the outspoken fund manager at Schroders , which holds around 10 percent of Babcock stock, has branded the company’s bid for VT Group a “deal too far”, the Times writes. Babcock yesterday lifted its approach for defence support services firm VT, prompting Brough to call 7 pounds a share for the business a crazy price.

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