DealZone

Deals wrap: AIG makes the sale, probably

A woman walks past a Nan Shan Life logo in Taipei March 11, 2010.      REUTERS/Nicky LohAIG accepted a $2.16 billion cash offer for its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit from a group led by local conglomerate Ruentex. Regulatory issues have dogged the sale of the unit and might yet delay it further.

Sara Lee could fetch more from an outright sale than if it were split up, but only if it can find a buyer that wants a wide array of assets, write Martinne Geller and Jessica Hall.

Asia’s private equity industry has quickly turned into a sellers’ market, as firms cash out of investments made on the back of the region’s robust economic growth.

Private equity funds in China
are nervously eyeing a push by the country’s top securities regulator to gain oversight of the fast-growing sector, fearing increased scrutiny and tougher new rules.

The NYT’s “Deal Professor” digs into the regulation surrounding an IPO.

Google’s employee no. 13 talks to peHUB about “sudden wealth syndrome.”

Deals wrap: Are hedge funds losing their sex appeal?

GM/IPOA small but growing number of hedge fund investors believe the once-free spirited portfolios, viewed as the cutting edge of finance for most of the past decade, have become too conservative and boring.

Goldman Sachs, responding to pressure from shareholders, regulators and clients, said it will disclose more information about how it makes money.

The U.S. power sector could be among the hottest industries for deals in 2011, but shareholders may not see the benefits for some time.

from Breakingviews:

DuPont’s $6 bln Danisco bid looks safe

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

LONDON -- M&A has resumed in 2011 with a textbook deal -- DuPont's $5.8 billion agreed cash offer for Danish enzymes group Danisco. Initially, the market got carried away with the transaction, pushing Danisco stock above the value of the U.S. chemical giant's 665 crown-a-share offer. But expectations of a counterbid proved short lived.

DuPont's offer equates to an enterprise multiple of 12.8 times Danisco's trailing 12-month EBITDA. That's rich for the sector, though largely justified by the target's above-average growth and profitability. The offer is also a 90 percent premium to Danisco's market value a year ago. Meanwhile, the synergy benefits are unclear. While EBITDA is forecast to grow rapidly, the likely return on the all-in $6.3 billion acquisition price would be less than 5 percent in year one.

Deals wrap: Merger Monday

A worker attempts to repair power lines in Mobile, Alabama, September 1, 2005. REUTERS/Marc Serota Duke Energy agreed to buy Progress Energy for $13.7 billion in stock, creating the largest U.S. power company in terms of market value and generating capacity.

DuPont said on Sunday it will buy Danish food ingredients and enzymes firm Danisco for $5.8 billion to boost its position in the fast-growing food sector.

Genzyme shares rose more than 3 percent after Sanofi-Aventis confirmed the companies were in direct talks about a takeover deal.

from Breakingviews:

Playboy, like Hef’s sex life, better off private

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

NEW YORK -- Some things, like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's sex life, are best kept behind closed doors. So it is with the massive restructuring of the media business built on Hef's nudie magazine. Playboy may be iconic -- but its future is bleak. So while the newly engaged octogenarian is still having his way with shareholders in his latest low-ball bid, they might as well take his money.

Still, don't be fooled by Hef's $6.50 a share offer for Playboy. The extra $1 he pulled out from under his smoking jacket simply reflects the increase in stock prices since his July tilt. The S&P 500 Index is up 18 percent -- and so is Hef's bid. So any pretense that he has sweetened the deal to woo investors into his boudoir is balderdash.

Deals wrap: LinkedIn’s IPO plans

The Wall Street sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009.   REUTERS/Chip EastLinkedIn plans to go public in 2011 and has selected its financial underwriters, three sources familiar with the process told Reuters.

Interest in Facebook shares is so strong that Goldman Sachs plans to stop soliciting interest from potential investors on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Felix Salmon lists reasons why Facebook won’t go public.

TechCrunch rebuts some recent themes surrounding Facebook in the blogosphere.

Deals wrap: Threat to cross-border M&A

MARKETS-AUSTRALIA/STOCKSRising protectionism could kill off some multi-billion-dollar Asia takeovers this year, bankers say, noting that governments are increasingly keen to protect their national icons.

Qualcomm plans to buy Atheros Communications for roughly $3.2 billion in cash. Atheros makes chips for Bluetooth wireless and global positioning system devices.

Goldman Sachs is not giving its multimillionaire clients a lot of time or information to think about investing in a $1.5 billion Facebook private offering. The WSJ asks if Mark Zuckerberg is ready for prime time.

Deals wrap: Powering up China’s IPO market

A power-generating wind turbine is seen in a wind farm of Alpiq in Le Peuchapatte in the Jura region, western Switzerland October 7, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer Sinovel, China’s top wind turbine producer, plans to raise up to $1.4 billion in one of the most expensive main board IPOs in Shanghai. The listing may well be a test for China’s IPO market, which had a mixed performance late last year.

Shares in BP hit a six-month high after reports rival Royal Dutch Shell considered a takeover bid, and that economic damages from its oil spill will be lower than forecast.

Brazil’s Petrobras offered to buy Eni’s 33.3 percent stake in Portuguese oil company Galp for 4.7 billion, business daily Diario Economico reported without citing sources.

from Breakingviews:

Goldman’s old-school Facebook deal sets new tests

Goldman Sachs' old-school Facebook deal brings a new set of challenges. The bank is raising up to $1.5 billion from clients to invest in the social network while putting in $450 million itself. Like Morgan Stanley's reported deal with online coupon service Groupon, it looks like classic merchant banking. With hot firms in the driver's seat, however, the banks could find themselves in for a wild ride.

Internet darlings, with their growth, profitability and cash, face little pressure to go public yet still have some use for what a fundraising can provide. So instead of an IPO, they rely on so-called D-rounds. This allows them to raise money at favorable valuations for internal use, while buying stock back from employees or early-round investors who want to cash out.

It's a calculated pay-to-play on the banks' part. By stumping up for Facebook and Groupon, Goldman and Morgan Stanley put themselves in a strong position to underwrite the eventual IPOs. They make the tech firms happy by providing stronger headline valuations, in Facebook's case $50 billion. And the intermediaries score points with their well-heeled clients by enabling them to put money into hard-to-access investments.

Deals wrap: Valuing Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens to a question after unveiling a new messaging system during a news conference in San Francisco, California November 15, 2010.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Facebook has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and Russian Internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies in a deal valuing the social networking site at $50 billion, the New York Times reported, citing people involved in the transaction.

“Facebook doesn’t need to stay worth $50 billion forever — Goldman just needs to engineer an IPO valuation somewhere north of that, then exit quietly in the public markets,” writes Felix Salmon about the deal.

Italy’s Fiat set its sights on a majority stake in Chrysler after completing a long-planned demerger of its car-making activities from its truck and tractor business. Click here for a factbox on the demerger.