DealZone Daily

March 30, 2010

Tuesday’s top stories:

* Ireland’s government is poised to take control of a much bigger chunk of the financial sector than initially planned.

* South Africa’s Investec (INVP.L) announces a recommended offer to buy the remaining shares in British firm Rensburg Sheppards (RBG.L) for 412 million pounds ($619.4 million) to boost its wealth and asset management activities.

* Private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR.AS) and CVC have teamed up to bid for Interactive Data Corp (IDC.N), yet another private equity team formed in recent weeks as an auction for the financial market data provider progresses, two sources familiar with the matter say.

* More on Sunday’s sale of Volvo Cars by Ford: One of China’s most senior female bankers, two top Swedish industrialists and a childhood friend of London’s mayor led the Rothschild team that helped Geely seal China’s biggest-ever overseas autos takeover.

* Jeffrey Goldfarb of Reuters Breakingviews says Uncle Sam’s plans to sell its 27 percent stake in Citigroup are a partial vindication of the bailout, but Citigroup has hardly been turned around since the government stepped in.

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

And elsewhere on the web (some external links may require subscriptions):

* Dubai-based Emirates and Mashreq Bank are eyeing the retail operations of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) in the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Business says.


* EMI Group is struggling to reach a deal to license its catalogue of recordings, with Sony Corp (6758.T) on the verge of pulling out of discussions with the British music company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

* Metro (MEOG.DE), the world’s third-largest retailer, expects to sell its Galeria Kaufhof department stores unit this year, the Financial Times reported, citing an interview with its chief executive.

* France’s strategic investment fund the FSI and American fund Apollo Management LP [APOLO.UL] are on the point of buying a 10 percent stake in former Pechiney assets, Les Echos reported.  Reuters story here.

* Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Philip Collins, chairman of Britain’s Office of Fair Trading, questions if “rent-seeking behaviour” by investment banks has pushed up fees, and asks if the City’s customs “limit choice, misallocate rewards and risks and drive up costs to users?”

* Spin-offs at Cable and Wireless and Carphone Warehouse this month have underlined a shift in the deal cycle – the return of the demerger, the FT writes. Not since the start of the last decade has the trend for splitting up businesses, particularly in Europe, had such momentum, the paper says, citing investment bankers and analysts.

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