M & A wrap: Glencore and Xstrata in mega merger talks

Xstrata and Glencore are in talks over an all-share merger that could create a combined group worth more than $80 billion, shaking up the industry with its biggest deal to date.

Glencore, the world’s largest diversified commodities trader, already owns 34 percent of mining group Xstrata and a tie-up between the two Swiss-based companies — in a deal which would trump Rio Tinto’s $38 billion acquisition of Alcan in 2007 — has long been expected, as Glencore aims to add more mines to its trading clout.

Now that Facebook has filed its hotly anticipated initial public offerings, analysts told Reuters correspondents Alexei Oreskovic and Alistair Barr that the social networking company’s honeymoon with investors may already be over.

Despite the massive IPO, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will exercise almost complete control over Facebook. Here is Zuckerberg’s letter to investors.

The graffiti artist who took Facebook stock instead of cash for painting the walls of the social network’s first headquarters made a smart bet, The New York Times says.

M & A wrap: Can Facebook live up to the hype?

As Facebook is expected to submit paperwork to regulators for its initial public offering, Reuters Social Media Editor, Anthony De Rosa, uncovers three problems standing in the way of Facebook’s future growth.

Which exchange will Facebook choose to “friend”? Bloomberg reports NYSE and Nasdaq are competing now for what may be the biggest ever by a technology company.

European Union regulators have blocked the merger of exchange operators Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext to avoid giving them a stranglehold on the European futures market. “The merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

M & A wrap: Owners, insiders jockey ahead of LME sale

Market parties are jockeying ahead of a sale of the London Metal Exchange (LME), a deal that could radically alter the sway that banks and brokers hold over the world’s largest metals market.

Meanwhile, London Stock Exchange chief Xavier Rolet says he aims to put last year’s failed bid for Canada’s TMX Group behind him by forging ahead with plans to diversify.

Eastman Chemical is buying specialty chemical maker Solutia Inc for about $3.38 billion in cash and stock to extend its reach in emerging markets, particularly the Asia-Pacific region.

M & A wrap: Illumina unveils poison pill to stave off Roche

Gene sequencing company Illumina unveiled a “poison pill” defense strategy against a hostile bid from Swiss drugmaker Roche, saying it would trigger a rights agreement if any party bought 15 percent of its stock. Roche is offering $5.7 billion in cash for Illumina.

Analysts say it is likely to be a protracted battle lasting well into 2012 based on Roche’s past deal playbook and possible regulatory hurdles. “This is going to take a while. There’s room for a protracted wait-them-out strategy as Roche puts pressure on Illumina’s board,” one arbitrageur, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

Amgen Inc, the world’s largest biotechnology company, says it would pay over $1 billion to buy Micromet Inc, which has several cancer drugs in development.

M & A wrap: Roche goes hostile for gene firm Illumina

Roche is offering $5.7 billion in cash to buy U.S. gene sequencing company Illumina Inc in an unfriendly takeover bid that marks a major play by the Swiss drugmaker into the gene technology field.

AMR Corp, the bankrupt parent of American Airlines, is the prize in a likely bidding war by rival carriers, but any merger involving the third largest U.S. airline is expected to come on its own terms and timing, Soyoung Kim and Kyle Peterson write.

Morgan Stanley’s tech team is going after a big prize — the chance to lead the much-anticipated Facebook IPO that is expected to raise $10 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

M & A wrap: NYSE-Deutsche Boerse deal faces tough vote

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse are unlikely to garner enough support from European Union commissioners to overturn a looming veto over their plan to create the world’s largest exchange, Bloomberg says, citing four people familiar with the situation.

Here are the various options open to Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext ahead of the Commission’s decision.

SPX Corp plans to sell its automotive service business to Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH for $1.15 billion in cash as the diversified U.S. manufacturer looks to focus on its fast-growing flow technology segment.

M & A wrap: Takeover talk swirls around BlackBerry maker

Takeover talk swirled around Research In Motion as investors and analysts pondered whether new Chief Executive Thorsten Heins had been appointed to lead a turnaround of the struggling phonemaker or prepare it for sale.

Here is a brief biography of Thorsten Heins, the little known insider at RIM’s helm.

Gas producer Apache is to buy privately owned oil and gas company Cordillera Energy Partners III in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.85 billion to expand its acreage of oil and petroleum liquid fields. The deal will give Apache access to Cordillera’s portion of Granite Wash — a geological formation that holds tight gas trapped in its sands.

M & A wrap: Kodak files for bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak, which invented the hand-held camera and helped bring the world the first pictures from the moon, has filed for bankruptcy protection, capping a prolonged plunge for one of America’s best-known companies. The more than 130-year-old photographic film pioneer said it had also obtained a $950 million, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to keep it going.

Kodak is preparing to appoint a chief restructuring officer who would report to the board and could have broad powers to manage the company’s finances and operations, The Wall Street Journal reports.

BankUnited Inc’s private equity owners abruptly pulled the lender off the market after a brief sale process drew offers below expectations.

M & A wrap: “Chief Yahoo” resigns

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has quit the company he started in 1995, appeasing shareholders who had blasted the Internet pioneer for pursuing an ineffective personal vision and impeding investment deals that could have transformed the struggling company.

Wall Street views the exit of “Chief Yahoo” Yang as smoothing the way for a major infusion of cash from private equity, or a deal to sell off much of its 40 percent slice of China’s Alibaba, unlocking value for shareholders.

Yang’s exit removes one of the last vestiges of a management team chided by investors for failing to find a buyer or negotiate a sale of stakes in Asian assets worth more than $10 billion, Bloomberg says.

M & A wrap: Swift takeover for Olympus unlikely

Olympus Corp should be the easiest of takeover targets: a profitable business with its share price in tatters, its management in utter disgrace and its balance sheet in need of fresh capital. But not in Japan. Reuters reporter Isabel Reynolds explains why.

Bonuses are sinking at Morgan Stanley, with cash payouts capped at $125,000, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Want to know how Wall Street firms determine bonuses to their employees? The New York Times talks to “the invisible hand behind bonuses on Wall Street”.