DealZone

Deals wrap: Glencore IPO draws key investors

Glencore kept a lid on its aspirations for a much-hyped market debut, targeting proceeds of $11 billion after securing record commitments from investors. The commodities trader set a price range of 480 to 580 pence per share for the London IPO, confirming an earlier Reuters report. That values it at $61 billion at the mid-point, in line with early forecasts. Glencore is planning a dual-listing in London and Hong Kong.

Chip equipment maker Applied Materials will buy Varian Semiconductor for $4.9 billion, as it looks to maintain its edge in new chipmaking technology to meet rising demands. Applied expects to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and debt.

ConAgra Foods said it raised its offer for private-label food maker Ralcorp Holdings by 5 percent to about $4.9 billion in cash. The company, one of North America’s largest packaged food companies is looking to gain access to more U.S. store brands that have been attracting people looking to cut spending on food. ConAgra’s proposal comes after Ralcorp said late on Sunday that its board rejected an unsolicited offer it received from a third party in March.

German engineering conglomerate Siemens is looking for acquisitions of up to 3 billion euros ($4.5 billion) to boost core areas after raising its full-year outlook on strong demand from emerging markets. The company makes products ranging from lights bulbs to trains and power plants to name a few.

When Nasdaq and InterContinentalExchange first unveiled their spoiler takeover offer for NYSE Euronext, it was valued at $11.1 billion – or $1.78 billion more than the bid from rival Deutsche Boerse. Within a month, that gap has narrowed by 55 percent.  In this Wall Street Journal piece, Shira Ovide explains what has happened in the past month to change the price-gap of the offers.

Deals wrap: Nasdaq and ICE take NYSE bid hostile

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange will take their takeover bid for NYSE Euronext straight to the Big Board’s shareholders as they try to corner the company into talks. NYSE has already rejected Nasdaq and ICE’s $11 billion unsolicited offer twice in favor of a lower bid from Deutsche Boerse.

In this Reuters Dealtalk article,  the reporters suggest that as deal volume and CEO confidence picks up, companies will become more daring and willing to take risks in their fight for assets. The case of Nasdaq and ICE taking their bid for NYSE hostile is a prime example of this attitude.

Investment firm Onex and its affiliates said they will sell their Husky International business to private equity firms Berkshire Partners and Omers Private Equity for $2.1 billion. Husky is one of the world’s largest suppliers of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry.

Deals wrap: Teva trumps rival to win Cephalon bid

The world’s largest generic drugmaker, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries plans to buy U.S. specialty drugmaker Cephalon for $6.8 billion,  topping an unsolicited bid by Canadian rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

Warner Music’s $3 billion buyout could be done by the end of the week, according to a person familiar with the matter. Final buyout bids for the company are due today. Warner Music’s board effectively put itself up for sale in January when it appointed Goldman Sachs and AGM Partners to assess interest from external parties.

Danisco, the Danish food ingredients and enzymes producer urged shareholders to accept a higher takeover bid from chemicals group DuPont as fund managers welcomed the “decent offer” and said it would likely succeed. DuPont raised its offer for Danisco by 5 percent to 700 Danish crowns ($139) per share from 665, making its cash offer worth $6.64 billion.

Deals wrap: Poised to go hostile

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange are poised to go hostile in their bid for NYSE Euronext after shareholders ratcheted up pressure on the Big Board parent to get a better deal.

Hong Kong’s first yuan-denominated IPO plunged as much as 11 percent on its Friday debut as investors turned their noses up at the low yields offered by billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hui Xian real estate investment trust.

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are descending on Omaha for the conglomerate’s annual meeting, but there appears to be only one topic of conversation in town — Berkshire’s extraordinary claims about former Buffett lieutenant David Sokol. The New York Times looks for Warren Buffett’s next deal.

Deals wrap: Facebook investors look for exits

A group of Facebook shareholders is seeking to offload $1 billion worth of shares on the secondary market, a sale that would value the company at more than $70 billion, according to sources. It would represent one of the largest transactions of Facebook shares to date and points to a growing wariness among early-stage investors and employees who fear the social networking service’s growth cannot keep pace with its market valuation.

The sellers have lowered their price after previously trying to offload shares at a price that valued the company at $90 billion, but buyers balked.

Power company Exelon Corp is set to buy rival Constellation Energy Group for $7.9 billion, which will add 1.2 million customers to its existing 5.4 million. The Exelon-Constellation deal is the latest in a series of acquisition in a fragmented U.S. utility industry that faces new costs to upgrade power grids and meet environmental controls.

Deals wrap: J&J’s $21.6 billion orthopedic buy

A general view shows Swiss medical devices maker Synthes' headquarters in Oberdorf, April 25, 2011. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Johnson & Johnson is to buy Swiss medical devices maker Synthes for $21.6 billion in its largest ever buy, giving J&J a leading position in equipment to treat trauma. Synthes, which posted sales of $3.7 billion in 2010, makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs. “It is surprising the deal has been struck between cash and shares. The market consensus, and our view, was it would be all cash, so the quality of the take-out is slightly lower than we anticipated,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Jungling.

Phone company CenturyLink is to buy Savvis for about $2.5 billion in cash and stock to beef up its data center business as it looks to meet the growing demand for cloud-based services. The deal comes at a time when regional phone companies like CenturyLink, which acquired rival Qwest for $10.6 billion last year, are looking at ways to boost their business as consumers continue to disconnect their home phones in favor of Internet services and cellphones.

Deals wrap: Lactalis Parmalat bid leaving sour taste in Italy

French dairy giant Lactalis launched a $4.9 billion offer to take over Italy’s Parmalat, prompting intervention by Italy and France to defuse a row over control of the Italian company. The bid comes just hours ahead of a meeting between Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French president Nicolas Sarkozy where the Italian government has expressed worries about French moves on Italian companies. Europe’s biggest dairy group bought 29 percent of Parmalat in March which sparked alarm in Rome.

China’s Minmetals Resources said it has dropped out of the battle for copper miner Equinox Minerals, saying Barrick Gold’s $7.7 billion bid was too rich to justify a counter-offer. “Competing with Barrick at these prices would, in our view, be value destructive for (our) shareholders,” Andrew Michelmore, Minmetals’ chief executive, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal paints a picture of Nasdaq’s hardships thus far in a bid for NYSE Euronext. The exchange has  sweeten their offer with more money but was still turned down and now hope to win over NYSE shareholders. Ronald Barusch sees a four-step program to Nasdaq’s victory.

Deals wrap: Barrick strikes deal for Equinox

Barrick Gold said it will acquire Australia’s Equinox Minerals for more than C$7 billion ($7.36 billion), topping an offer by China’s Minmetals Resources. Barrick said it has committed cash and financing in place for the transaction.

NYSE Euronext sees higher savings of almost 400 million euros ($584 million) in its $9.8 billion deal with Deutsche Boerse, up by about a third from its initial estimates, according to a Big Board spokesman. The new savings estimate, along with 100 million euros in benefits coming from cross-selling and distribution opportunities, would bring the total savings and benefits from the deal to about $725 million.

All eyes will be on Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder’s meeting next weekend, as he will undoubtedly face questions regarding the resignation of his presumed successor David Sokol. This piece in the New York Times examines Buffett’s hands-off management style, which may come under scrutiny after Sokol’s resignation following news of his dealings in Lubrizol prior to Berkshire’s acquisition of the chemicals company.

Deals wrap: Fiat speeds toward control of Chrysler

A new model of the Fiat 500 is pictured on display at the launch of Chrysler's flagship showroom in Los Angeles November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni Fiat will pump another $1.3 billion into Chrysler this quarter as it moves closer to its target of owning a controlling stake in the U.S. automaker. The deal will take Fiat’s holding in the company to 46 percent, just 5 percent shy of the 51 percent it needs to assume full control.

Read the politically charged, behind-the-scenes story of how the Singapore Exchange failed in its bid for a full takeover of Australian stock exchange operator ASX.

The prosecution amped up the tone of its attacks on Raj Rajaratnam in closing arguments at the insider trading trial of the hedge fund manager on Wednesday, saying the Galleon Group founder wanted to “conquer the stock market at the expense of the law.” The jury is expected to begin deliberations once the defense wraps up its closing arguments either Thursday or next Monday.

Deals wrap: AES powers up in U.S. midwest

An electric tower is shown in this file photo. REUTERS/Francesco SpotornoMore consolidation is on the way in the power industry as global power provider AES is buying smaller Ohio-based rival DPL for $3.5 billion. The acquisition will help the company beef up its regulated power business that tends to provide steady returns even during tough market conditions.

Just days after posting a sharp drop in first-quarter profit, Bank of America said it plans to spin off its last large private equity unit, BAML Capital Partners, which has more than $5 billion in assets. It’s the latest in a series of moves the bank has undertaken to comply with new U.S. regulations that limit how much of their own capital banks are allowed to invest.

U.S. based hard-drive manufacturer Seagate Technology is buying Samsung’s loss-making disk drive unit for $1.4 billion in an attempt to take on rival Western Digital, which bought Hitachi’s global hard-drive business last month.