M & A wrap: A Buffett bailout for BofA

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will invest $5 billion in Bank of America, stepping in to shore up the company in the same way he helped prop up Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis.

Bank of America shares rose 20 percent in pre-market trading on the news. Shares for the largest U.S. bank by assets have lost roughly a third of their value in August, and half their value since the beginning of the year.

The news of Steve Jobs’s resignation had many of his peers weighing in on the Apple co-founder’s legacy. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Jobs is the “most successful CEO in the U.S. of the last 25 years,” while former eBay CEO Meg Whitman said his contributions are “unparalleled in the business world.”

Samsung Electronics Co reiterated on Thursday it is not interested in buying Hewlett-Packard Co’s PC business, shooting down persistent market talk the South Korean firm may snap up the unit to become the world’s top PC maker.

The deadline for initial bids in the auction for Hulu was extended until the end of the week to allow interested parties more time to examine the online video site’s financial information, according to people familiar with the situation. Yahoo, Google Inc, DirecTV and were among the parties preparing to submit an offer for the U.S. online company, the people said.

M & A wrap: Lifting the Vale

Brazil’s Vale said on Wednesday it has created a new logistics company for cargo transport, but it denied media reports it is planning to sell stock in the unit in a spin-off. Logistics services generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2010, an increase of 33 percent from the year before.

Cerberus Capital Management LP’s deal to buy 64 hotels from bankrupt Innkeepers USA Trust could still go forward, but at a lower price, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

NYT’s DealBook contributor Steven M. Davidoff writes that Capital One’s proposed $9.2 billion acquisition of ING Direct requires clearance from the Federal Reserve, as it poses a potential systemic risk. “Whether or not the Fed approves the Capital One/ING Direct transaction, it is time for the Fed to run public hearings on what exactly Dodd-Frank means for our banks and what we as a country want from them,” writes Davidoff.

M & A wrap: S&P chief downgraded

The chief of Standard & Poor’s will step down next month, to be replaced by a senior Citibank executive, in a move announced a few weeks after the credit rating agency downgraded U.S. government debt and sparked a row with Washington.

Australian brewer Foster’s Group put pressure on SABMiller to raise its $10 billion hostile takeover offer on Tuesday, unveiling a $521 million capital return to shareholders.

Deutsche Bank AG knew in 2006 that a mortgage company it was preparing to buy lied to the U.S. government about its mortgages, yet went ahead with the purchase and should be held financially responsible, the Justice Department said on Monday.

M & A wrap: HP confusion

While some investors applaud HP CEO Leo Apotheker’s long-term plan to get out of the PC business,  the $11.7 billion bill for Autonomy and haphazard articulation of the spin-off strategy left many shaking their heads. Even more worrying, HP’s new strategic road map marks an about-face on several crucial fronts, signaling a lack of direction, writes Poornima Gupta.

Breakingviews columnist Robert Cyran, however, says the stock is now oversold.

Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, Chief Investment Officer at Investment Management Associates, has a hold recommendation on HP’s stock, but is seething mad in this post.

Investors were cautious on the prospect of rivals challenging Peabody Energy’s bid for Macarthur Coal, though sources familiar with the matter said potential suitor Anglo American was studying the books.

M & A wrap: What’s up with HP?

Shares of Hewlett-Packard slid on Friday, a day after the world’s biggest PC maker said it may spin off the business, signaling a massive overhaul in the wake of bleak tech spending across the board.

HP’s personal computer business may be too big for Asia’s technology companies to swallow whole, but potential suitors are out there should HP decide to break the group into parts, industry sources said.

HP plans to reinvent the company with a return to its roots, reports Bloomberg.

Unpicking the Autonomy acquisition reveals some interesting nuggets that better explain HP’s decision to acquire, reports ZDNet.

from Breakingviews:

Upstart M&A boutiques earn place at fee table

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Upstart M&A boutiques are eating from Wall Street's table. Two newish shops -- Blair Effron's Centerview and Frank Quattrone's Qatalyst -- helped Motorola Mobility strike a deal to sell itself to Google for $12.5 billion earlier this week. Along with two other firms opened over the last five years by Ken Moelis and Joseph Perella, this quartet is gnawing at the fee pool of big investment banks.

It wasn't always clear there would be enough work to go around. In the aftermath of the crisis, flocks of bankers either went solo or joined veterans like Bob Greenhill and Roger Altman, who had done so years before. Effron, Perella and Moelis -- who started their boutiques in 2006 and 2007 -- had a head start on the 2008 crunch, enabling them to woo disenfranchised colleagues with the promise of independence and equity stakes. Meanwhile, Quattrone's return to the industry in 2008 neatly coincided with resurgent demand for his Silicon Valley M&A expertise.

M & A wrap: Foster’s says “No”

Australian brewer Foster’s rejected a $10 billion offer from rival SABMiller for the second time as shareholders hold out for a better offer from the global brewing giant.

English Premier League soccer champions Manchester United has filed a preliminary application with the Singapore Exchange for a planned listing, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Asahi Group Holdings is acquiring New Zealand beverage group Independent Liquor for $1.3 billion, giving the Japanese brewing giant a ready-to-drink cocktail maker to add to its stash of assets in the Oceania market.

Deals wrap: SABMiller goes hostile

SABMiller took its $10 billion bid for Australia-focused Foster’s Group direct to shareholders just days before the Australian brewer’s annual results are set to show flagging profits.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group is meeting privately with analysts to convince them the company is worth at least as much as Blackstone Group, Bloomberg reports citing sources.

All but one bidder for South Korea’s biggest bank privatization have pulled out, likely killing an ill-fated deal that analysts said was never going to succeed because of political opposition.

Deals wrap: Google ripples

Asian handset makers using Google’s Android operating system might turn to rival platforms such as Microsoft’s Windows after Google upended the mobile landscape by buying Motorola Mobility.

The investment banking sector was also shaken up by the deal after Motorola hired “boutique” banks Centerview Partners and Qatalyst Partners as advisers.

“Google is actively positioning the deal not as a means to buy its way into the handset market, but as an opportunity to buy Motorola’s portfolio of patents — some 17,000 of them,” reports DealBook.

from Breakingviews:

Google’s $12.5 billion insurance buy may worry partners

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Google is spending $12.5 billion on insurance for itself -- but its partners may not feel at ease. The search giant's deal to buy smartphone maker Motorola Mobility locks in patents to help protect its rapidly growing Android mobile operating system. But Google's plans for the hardware business that comes along with the patents will be the key concern for regulators and other current Android handset makers alike.

Intellectual property suddenly mattered to Google following the recent $4.5 billion purchase of 6,000 patents from the bankrupt Nortel by a consortium of Apple, Microsoft and several others. Google's much smaller hoard of patents left Android vulnerable. The risk was that rivals could extract increased royalties from the manufacture of Android devices -- or, worse, prevent companies selling them altogether.