DealZone

M&A wrap: EU crisis hits bank advisory fees

By Reuters Staff
December 22, 2011

Europe’s debt woes dragged worldwide investment banking income down this year, data showed, with fees on the continent slumping to the lowest quarterly level ever recorded and company listings and acquisitions grinding to a near halt. In Europe, fees raised since October from bonds, flotations and mergers and acquisitions stand at the lowest quarterly level ever recorded by the data providers. A stronger start to the year in areas such as mergers and acquisitions fizzled out, leaving investment banks’ overall haul of fees at $72.6 billion — down 8 percent on 2010.

Yahoo is considering a plan to unload most of its prized Asian assets in a complex deal valued at roughly $17 billion, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, winning nods of approval from Wall Street and driving its shares higher. The offer – the latest among proposals put forth in recent months to resuscitate the once high-flying Internet company – is expected to be considered by Yahoo’s board on Thursday, sources said. The board was uninterested in entertaining offers for the entire company at this point, said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Oshkosh Corp has sent a proxy card to shareholders recommending they ignore an effort by billionaire investor Carl Icahn to install his own board members as he pushes for a merger with one of the company’s key rivals. Icahn recently nominated six associates to be on the board of the Wisconsin maker of trucks, construction lifts and defense vehicles. In a letter to the company’s shareholders last week asking for support for his nominations, he also voiced strong support of a merger between Oshkosh and Navistar International Corp. Icahn owns nearly 10 percent stakes in both companies.

Vulcan Materials Co rejected Martin Marietta Materials Inc’s $5 billion takeover bid, and said the offer undervalued the company and would not increase shareholder value in the future. Vulcan Materials, the world’s largest producer of sand, gravel and other construction materials, said the premium offered was significantly lower compared with previous transactions in the construction materials industry.

European Commission antitrust officials on Wednesday showed no sign of being swayed by Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext’s last-ditch arguments to save their $9 billion deal, sources said, making it increasingly likely the exchange operators will have to take their campaign directly to the commissioners.

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